Kansas vs Ohio State

Kansas knocks off Ohio St.

CBSSports.com wire reports
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It's not supposed to be this easy for a kid playing his first collegiate road game.

Kansas' Ben McLemore, a redshirt freshman surrounded in the starting lineup by seniors, didn't let the raucous crowd, the travel or sleeping in a strange bed bother him.

McLemore scored 22 points and No. 9 Kansas proved it was more than just a bully at home by beating seventh-ranked Ohio State 74-66 on Saturday.

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"This was great. It was my first time playing in an away game," McLemore said with a slight smile. "You go up and down the court a little bit, and you get into the game. I kept my intensity, I just played my game."

For that matter, none of the Jayhawks had yet played a true road game this season. Kansas, which has won nine in a row since losing to Michigan State 67-64 on Nov. 13 in Atlanta, came in 7-0 at home, with two other games played before friendly fans in nearby Kansas City.

They had barely heard a boo all season.

No wonder coach Bill Self was a little worried.

"I had concerns, for sure," Self said. "Our seniors are good and quality and they've been through some things, but against a team that pressures man-to-man and you're playing with one primarily (ball) handler? That was my biggest concern."

But the Jayhawks (10-1) weathered a 14-0 run by the Buckeyes (9-2) in the first half that turned the volume up in Value City Arena to 11 on a scale of 10. Then, down in the second half, they held cold-shooting Ohio State without a field goal for more than 10 minutes to take control.

The Buckeyes, who were led by Deshaun Thomas' 16 points and a career-best 15 by Shannon Scott, hit just 9 of 36 shots from the field in the final 20 minutes. For the game, they ended up making only 31 percent of their shots from the field.

No wonder coach Thad Matta looked so stunned when he spoke after the game.

"There was one point in the second half where I turned to the bench and I said, `Hey, let's call a play where we score,"' he said, heavy on the irony. "A lot of it just comes down to you've got to put the ball in the basket in a game like this and we couldn't do it. It became contagious."

Sixty percent of the starting lineup - star defender Aaron Craft, usually reliable Lenzelle Smith Jr. and post man Evan Ravenel - was a combined 5 of 24 from the field.

Credit the Jayhawks, who play withering man-to-man defense and then are backed up by the incredible wingspan of 7-foot Jeff Withey underneath. Or blame the Buckeyes, who frequently were all alone when they bricked a shot off the rim. But no matter the reason, Ohio State couldn't buy a bucket for most of the second half.

It was the third victory for the Jayhawks in little more than a year over the Buckeyes (9-2). Kansas won a 64-62 thriller in last year's NCAA semifinals.

"Today's probably the best we've played against Ohio State in the three games," Self said. "We were really good except for about a 3-minute stretch in the first half when they went on a (14-0) run. Other than that stretch, that was a pretty good 35 minutes we played out there."

Withey added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks. Elijah Johnson had 13 points and Travis Releford 11.

They weathered Ohio State's first-half tear by relying on the seniors.

"We have a good group of vets and we've been in tough situations before," Withey said. "We just bounced back. We just had to kind of breathe a little bit."

Ahead 56-52 with 7 minutes left, Kansas pulled away thanks to its McLemore. He hit a pair of foul shots and then flipped in a 15-foot jumper that bounced not once, not twice, but three times before falling through. Off an inbounds pass, McLemore then came off a back pick and dunked to push the lead to 62-52 with 5 minutes left.

The Buckeyes never got closer than six points again.

Self said he found out a little more about McLemore in the game.

"There's a lot of stuff I'm curious about Ben," he said. "He's still trying to figure out how to play. You can tell in late-game situations, he's played less basketball than anybody that's as old as him and as good as him around. It's all new to him. When it all comes naturally to him, he's going to become terrific."

In his first road game, he already was.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kansas' Ben McLemore scores 22 points, including 5 late five late points to lead the Jayhawks to victory. (US Presswire)
Kansas' Ben McLemore scores 22 points, including 5 late five late points to lead the Jayhawks to victory. (US Presswire)

 
Scoreboard
Kansas #9 (10-1) «373774
Ohio State #7 (9-2)353166
KANSAS:B. McLemore 22 Pts
KANSAS:J. Withey 10 Reb
KANSAS:K. Young 3 Ast
OHIOST:D. Thomas 16 Pts
OHIOST:A. Williams 8 Reb
OHIOST:S. Scott 4 Ast
 
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
KansasOhio State
KANSAS
Ben McLemore
OHIOST
Shannon Scott
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
22621564
Kansas Jayhawks
T. Releford, G384-52-441111
B. McLemore, G368-173-362022
J. Withey, C345-124-5101314
K. Young, F331-14-1010336
E. Johnson, G324-85-622313
N. Tharpe, G152-20-00345
J. Traylor, F71-21-22103
P. Ellis, F50-20-03110
R. Adams, G10-00-00010
J. Wesley, FDid Not Play
N. Roberts, GDid Not Play
C. Garrett, GDid Not Play
L. Lucas, FDid Not Play
E. Manning, GDid Not Play
Z. Peters, FDid Not Play
T. Self, GDid Not Play
A. White III, GDid Not Play
Totals 25-4919-3037141674
 51.0%63.3% 
Ohio State Buckeyes
D. Thomas, F384-115-661416
A. Craft, G372-91-25347
L. Smith, G263-130-02246
S. Thompson, F263-101-23039
E. Ravenel, F190-23-43113
S. Scott, G255-124-764215
A. Williams, C202-32-28046
L. Ross, F91-52-30014
T. McDonald, CDid Not Play
A. Rogers, GDid Not Play
A. Della Valle, GDid Not Play
A. Goldstein, GDid Not Play
J. Lorbach, FDid Not Play
Totals 20-6518-2633112366
 30.8%69.2% 
Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
Kansas14-425-10
Oklahoma12-623-10
Iowa St.11-728-8
Texas11-724-11
Kansas St.10-820-13
Baylor9-926-12
W. Virginia9-917-16
Oklahoma St.8-1021-13
Texas Tech6-1214-18
TCU0-189-22

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
Michigan15-328-9
Wisconsin12-630-8
Michigan St.12-629-9
Nebraska11-719-13
Ohio St.10-825-10
Iowa9-920-13
Minnesota8-1025-13
Illinois7-1120-15
Indiana7-1117-15
Penn St.6-1216-18
Northwestern6-1214-19
Purdue5-1315-17
 
Other games
AMER 48 Final
GU 65
MCNS 63 Final
UNC 97
TEMP 83 Final
SYR 79
TNTC 42 Final
OKST 78
EVAN 67 Final
BUT 75
UT 56 Final
MIST 67
SDST 70 Final
NMEX 65
STBN 73 Final
NCST 92
WRST 58 Final
CIN 68
ILL 73 Final
MIZZ 82
SDSU 80 Final
SF 58
LAFAY 50 Final
MINN 75
FLA 61 Final
KSU 67
WKY 55 Final
LOU 78
CAN 74 Final
UNLV 89
ARIZ 73 Final
ETSU 53