Dylan Osetkowksi scored 16 points and Texas used stifling defense to snap a 10-game losing streak to No. 11 Kansas with a 73-63 win Tuesday night.
Jase Febres made three 3-pointers late in the second half as Texas fought off a late rally that saw the Jayhawks get within three points. Texas hadn’t beaten the Jayhawks since 2014.
Texas held Kansas’ leading scorer Dedric Lawson without a point in the first half, and the Jayhawks to their fewest points in a half this season. Just three days earlier, the Longhorns gave up 98 in a loss to Georgia in Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Back in the Big 12, Texas (12-9, 4-4) got a much-needed win that also knocked the Jayhawks (16-5, 5-3) out of first place. Kansas, which has won at least a share of the Big 12 title the last 14 years, has lost three of its last four and this week fell out of the Top 10 for the first time this season.
Ochai Agbaji led Kansas with 24 points.
Osetkowski, who had said Texas was at a “crossroads” after the Georgia loss, was a physical presence under the basket that Kansas couldn’t match as he bullied his way to the basket for layups and rebounds or kicked out cross-court passes for 3-pointers.
Kansas cut the lead to 48-45 before Febres made two 3-pointers two minutes apart for the cushion Texas needed. Febres made another with 1:22 left that put Texas up 63-56.
Kansas: Kansas looked befuddled early by Texas’ aggressive defense, which harassed the guards on the perimeter and denied the Jayhawks on just about every chance at getting close to the basket. Kansas’ 23 points in the first half was a season low, and the Jayhawks looked like they could get blown out until an 11-1 run late in the period. Kansas never cleaned up sloppy ball-handling that led to 13 turnovers, several of them coming in the second half.
Texas: Freshman forward Jaxson Hayes set the defensive tone with two blocks in the first two minutes and a soaring, two-handed dunk on the other end. Hayes leads the Big 12 in blocks and ranked first nationally among freshmen with 2.65 per game coming in. That sort of defensive effort could carry Texas a long way through the second half of the Big 12 schedule.
Kansas hosts No. 16 Texas Tech on Saturday.
Texas plays at No. 20 Iowa State on Saturday.
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