CBKB: No. 1 KU tops Texas Tech 80-68 to reach 2,000 wins
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cole Aldrich had 12 points and 18 rebounds, and No. 1 Kansas became the third team to reach 2,000 wins by pulling out an 80-68 victory over scrappy Texas Tech on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Kansas (30-2) was upset by Baylor in last year’s Big 12 tournament and seemed headed for another with an uneven start. The Jayhawks slogged through a sloppy first half and had to withstand a Texas Tech rally in the second before pulling away to join Kentucky and North Carolina in the 2,000-win club.
Kansas moves on to face the Texas A&M-Nebraska winner in Friday’s semifinals.
Texas Tech (17-15) all but secured an NIT berth by beating Colorado in the opener, but its only chance at an NCAA berth was to win the Big 12 tournament.
John Roberson had 14 points and eight assists, and Darko Cohadarevic added 14 points to keep Texas Tech within reach until the closing minutes.
Sherron Collins had 19 points and six assists despite foul trouble and Xavier Henry added 13 points for Kansas, which reached 30 wins for the third time in four years, ninth overall.
Ranked as high as No. 19 early in the season, Texas Tech staggered down the stretch of season behind a struggling defense. The Red Raiders had a few defensive lapses early against Colorado in the first round of the Big 12 before tightening up for a decisive win.
The intensity continued early against Kansas.
The Jayhawks manhandled Texas Tech inside in the first meeting in January — 14 more points in the paint, 11 more rebounds — and the Red Raiders were determined not to let it happen again, swarming Kansas’ post players on every touch.
Kansas was out of sorts even without Tech’s pressure.
The Jayhawks made careless passes, took poor shots and had one blunder after another in the first half to let Texas Tech stay within two. Kansas went up 12 early in the second half and tried to pull away, but Texas Tech wouldn’t back down.
The Red Raiders cut the lead to 55-50 on Mike Singletary’s three-point play with 11› minutes left and kept answering Kansas’ attempts to stretch the lead. Texas Tech made it 65-61 on Cohadarevic’s sweeping hook shot and were within two when Roberson scored on a tough reverse to set up a potential three-point play.
He missed and Kansas took over.
Collins hit a 3-pointer, Kansas got a stop and Henry added another 3, putting Kansas up 71-63 with five minutes left. Texas Tech didn’t have another run after that and will likely head to the NIT while Kansas hopes to sew up the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.