NMEXST
KANSAS

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Lawson leads No. 2 Kansas past New Mexico State 63-60

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Dedric Lawson's second-half performance was invaluable for No. 2 Kansas.

Lawson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and scored Kansas' final 14 points as the undefeated Jayhawks got past New Mexico State 63-60 in the Jayhawk Shootout on Saturday night.

The Jayhawks' offense stalled after a hot start in their first game without injured center Udoka Azubuike, going scoreless for over five minutes in the first half. Lawson, their offensive anchor, had just two points at halftime, but scored 18 in the second half as they put it together and escaped with a win.

''He didn't get a lot done in the first half, and he's better than that . but he did make some key plays late,'' coach Bill Self said. ''We don't win the game, obviously, unless he made those plays.''

Lawson began to heat up when he tied the score with a layup with six minutes to go. He hit a 3-pointer - just his second of the season - with under four minutes left to open a 60-57 lead, and then hit three free throws in the last minute to seal the victory for Kansas (8-0).

It didn't take any motivational speeches or self-searching for Lawson to overcome his early struggles. He just needed to see his shots start to fall.

''It's just basketball,'' Lawson said. ''It's all about getting into a rhythm. Once you get into a rhythm, you get into the flow of the game.''

Marcus Garrett was the only other member of the Jayhawks in double figures, with 10 points. Charlie Moore had three steals in his first start.

Lawson wasn't perfect, as he missed a free throw with 11 seconds left that would have made it a four-point game. New Mexico State (7-2) then had the chance to tie, but JoJo Zamora's attempt bounced off the rim.

Zamora led the Aggies with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Ivan Aurrecoechea added 14 points and six assists and Johnny McCants turned in a career high 12 points.

New Mexico State played well for 40 minutes, but just couldn't execute when it mattered. That was the difference.

''We had our opportunities I thought in the second half, talked about it in the locker room,'' coach Chris Jans said. ''We just couldn't knock them out.''

The Jayhawks improved to 4-0 all-time against the Aggies with the win.

NO DOKE

With Azubuike out, Lawson picked up some of the slack offensively. But on the defensive end, Kansas struggled to replace the 7-footer's presence inside, allowing 36 of New Mexico State's points to come in the paint.

''I thought our bigs made their bigs look really good tonight,'' Self said.

MCCANTS' CAREER NIGHT

McCants' 12 points were a career high for the sophomore. At the end of the game, he was overcome with emotion, burying his face in his hands as he crouched down and was consoled by teammates.

''I've never had a game like this in my college career . my emotions just came out at the end of the game, because I felt like we had it,'' McCants said.

VICK BENCHED AGAIN

Lagerald Vick was absent from the starting lineup once again for Kansas, as Self sat him down for the second straight game.

''He had a really bad Thursday,'' Self said. ''Let's just leave it at that. Hopefully those days are behind us.''

Vick had been the Jayhawks' leading scorer before the back-to-back benchings. He finished with five points, six rebounds and five assists.

BIG PICTURE

New Mexico State hung with the No. 2 team in the country and perhaps lived up to its billing as the preseason pick to win the Western Athletic Conference.

With the 7-foot Azubuike on the bench with a sprained ankle, Kansas once again struggled before pulling out a win.

UP NEXT

New Mexico State has a nine-day break before returning home to face Northern Colorado.

Kansas heads back to Allen Fieldhouse for its clash with No. 21 Villanova next Saturday.

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Key Players
T. Brown
3 G
D. Lawson
1 F
32.7 Min. Per Game 32.7
19.0 Pts. Per Game 19.0
3.1 Ast. Per Game 3.1
10.7 Reb. Per Game 10.7
27.0 Field Goal % 47.0
26.3 Three Point % 15.4
78.3 Free Throw % 76.8
  Offensive rebound by Johnny McCants 2.0
  JoJo Zamora missed 3-pt. jump shot 4.0
  Defensive rebound by Eli Chuha 14.0
  Dedric Lawson missed 2nd of 2 free throws 14.0
+ 1 Dedric Lawson made 1st of 2 free throws 14.0
  Personal foul on Eli Chuha 14.0
  Defensive rebound by Mitch Lightfoot 31.0
  AJ Harris missed 2nd of 2 free throws 31.0
+ 1 AJ Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 31.0
  Shooting foul on Devon Dotson 31.0
+ 1 Dedric Lawson made 2nd of 2 free throws 52.0
Team Stats
Points 60 63
Field Goals 25-55 (45.5%) 25-58 (43.1%)
3-Pointers 7-26 (26.9%) 7-21 (33.3%)
Free Throws 3-10 (30.0%) 6-12 (50.0%)
Total Rebounds 37 36
Offensive 9 11
Defensive 23 21
Team 5 4
Assists 20 15
Steals 6 7
Blocks 4 4
Turnovers 14 13
Fouls 15 15
Technicals 0 0
15 PTS, 3 REB
20 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo New Mexico St. 7-2 283260
home team logo 2 Kansas 8-0 263763
Team Stats
away team logo New Mexico St. 7-2 78.7 PPG 41.4 RPG 13.8 APG
home team logo 2 Kansas 8-0 81.8 PPG 42.8 RPG 15.1 APG
Key Players
4
J. Zamora G 9.0 PPG 1.8 RPG 0.8 APG 45.6 FG%
1
D. Lawson F 19.1 PPG 10.6 RPG 2.9 APG 47.0 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Zamora G 15 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
D. Lawson F 20 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
45.5 FG% 43.1
26.9 3PT FG% 33.3
30.0 FT% 50.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Zamora 29 15 3 0 2 1 4 0 5/9 4/7 1/3 0 3
I. Aurrecoechea 22 14 3 6 0 1 1 1 7/10 0/0 0/0 1 2
A. Harris 32 8 2 5 0 0 1 2 3/12 1/8 1/2 1 1
C. Bobbitt 15 3 5 0 1 0 1 4 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 3
J. Rice 16 1 4 0 1 0 1 0 0/2 0/2 1/2 1 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Zamora 29 15 3 0 2 1 4 0 5/9 4/7 1/3 0 3
I. Aurrecoechea 22 14 3 6 0 1 1 1 7/10 0/0 0/0 1 2
A. Harris 32 8 2 5 0 0 1 2 3/12 1/8 1/2 1 1
C. Bobbitt 15 3 5 0 1 0 1 4 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 3
J. Rice 16 1 4 0 1 0 1 0 0/2 0/2 1/2 1 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. McCants 25 12 6 1 0 1 0 4 6/8 0/1 0/2 4 2
S. Buchanan 11 3 2 1 0 0 1 1 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 2
E. Chuha 18 2 5 5 0 1 2 3 1/2 0/0 0/1 0 5
T. Brown 26 2 1 2 2 0 3 0 1/8 0/4 0/0 0 1
K. Jones 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
C. Henry 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0
R. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Thiam - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Wallace - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Owens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. JeanLouis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 60 32 20 6 4 14 15 25/55 7/26 3/10 9 23
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. Lawson 31 20 10 1 1 1 2 0 8/15 1/2 3/5 5 5
M. Garrett 31 10 3 2 0 0 1 3 4/7 2/4 0/2 1 2
D. Dotson 39 8 4 2 1 0 3 2 3/8 0/2 2/3 2 2
C. Moore 24 5 1 1 3 0 1 2 2/7 1/5 0/0 1 0
Q. Grimes 18 5 1 2 0 0 4 3 2/5 1/3 0/0 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. Lawson 31 20 10 1 1 1 2 0 8/15 1/2 3/5 5 5
M. Garrett 31 10 3 2 0 0 1 3 4/7 2/4 0/2 1 2
D. Dotson 39 8 4 2 1 0 3 2 3/8 0/2 2/3 2 2
C. Moore 24 5 1 1 3 0 1 2 2/7 1/5 0/0 1 0
Q. Grimes 18 5 1 2 0 0 4 3 2/5 1/3 0/0 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Lightfoot 18 7 6 1 0 1 1 3 3/6 0/1 1/2 2 4
L. Vick 31 5 6 5 2 1 1 2 2/8 1/3 0/0 0 6
K. Lawson 4 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 1
D. McCormack 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
U. Azubuike - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Teahan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. De Sousa - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Elliott - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Luinstra - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Agbaji - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 63 32 15 7 4 13 15 25/58 7/21 6/12 11 21