South Florida vs Kansas

Kansas turns it up in late, blows out USF wire reports

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- After Kansas coach Bill Self told his players there'd be times this season when they would have to "win ugly," they appear to be doing just that lately.

The 15th-ranked Jayhawks (5-2) followed a lackluster win over Florida Atlantic earlier this week with rough first half on Saturday in which they struggled to a three-point halftime lead. However, they managed to pull away after the break and beat South Florida 70-42.

"They've taken it to a different level than I ever imagined," Self said. "We were awful. ... I told our guys before the season that we were going to have to really enjoy winning ugly because we don't have as many offensive weapons like we've had in the past."

Tyshawn Taylor, held to four points in the first half, had 20 in the second, and Thomas Robinsin had 14 points and eight rebounds, ending his stretch of six straight double-doubles for Kansas (5-2).

After making only one of 11 3-point shots in the opening half, the Jayhawks got three straight 3s from Travis Releford, Connor Teahan and Taylor, triggering a long run that put Kansas firmly in command, finally.

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Kansas had more points (46) in the second half than South Florida had in the game.

"I don't know which team you want to talk about -- our first-half team or our second-half team," South Florida coach Stan Heath said. "Our second-half team lost a little focus and more than anything, couldn't keep pace with Kansas. I thought they did a great job in the second half of continuing to attack and having a little more patience."

Kansas opened the second half with a 7-0 run keyed by Robinson. The 6-10 junior rebounded a teammate's miss and scored on a soft putback to make it 28-21, then stole a Bulls pass and fed Taylor streaking downcourt on a fastbreak. Taylor rattled in the free throw to put the Jayhawks up 10.

Augustus Gilchrist had 11 points for the Bulls (5-4), who were facing their first ranked opponent of the year.

Hugh Robertson's bucket cut Kansas' lead to 38-31, then Releford's 3-pointer seemed to ignite the Jayhawks. Taylor, fouled by Gilchrist, hit a pair of free throws and then Releford scored on a fastbreak for a 51-35 lead that allowed the 167th straight sellout crowd in Allen Fieldhouse to finally breathe easy.

"I think we just came out in the second half with a different attitude," Taylor said. "First half was a little sluggish for us. We didn't have much energy as a team. n the second half, we just wanted to come out with a little more energy, pressure the ball a little more, get some fastbreak points. And that's what we did. We just tried to pressure the ball a little bit more."

Anthony Collins and Shaun Noriega each had eight points for South Florida. Teahen had 11 for Kansas.

In a seesaw first half that saw nine lead changes, the Bulls stayed close by slowing down the tempo, draining the shot clock and benefiting from awful Kansas shooting. The Jayhawks hit only five of their first 16 shots and never led by more than two until Teahan drove in for a layup and then made a foul shot for a 24-19 advantage.

Shaun Noriega cut it to 24-21 with the final bucket of the half. It was the third straight game the tenacious South Florida defense held an opponent under 30 points over the first 20 minutes.

With two seconds left in the half, Collins stole the ball and drove in for what would have been an uncontested dunk if the buzzer hadn't sounded just as he went up. After a review, officials disallowed the bucket, sending the 16-point underdogs into intermission trailing by only three.

Ron Anderson Jr., a transfer from Kansas State who had averaged 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in the Bulls' last three games, had early foul trouble and spent much of the game on the bench. He finally fouled out with only two points.

Another reason for Kansas' sluggish play may be "the crud," according to Self.

"We've all got the crud. The crud's going around," he said. "That's no excuse. But head colds, guys not practicing. Throwing up. We've had several people at the infirmary, including the coach. They haven't felt great.

"But -- good gosh!"

Copyright 2017 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.
Tyshawn Taylor scores 24 for 15th-ranked Kansas, which has more points (46) in the second half than South Florida's total. (Getty Images)
Tyshawn Taylor scores 24 for 15th-ranked Kansas, which has more points (46) in the second half than South Florida's total. (Getty Images)
South Florida (5-4)212142
Kansas #15 (5-2) «244670
SFL:A. Gilchrist 11 Pts
SFL:T. Fitzpatrick 6 Reb
SFL:H. Robertson 2 Ast
KS:T. Taylor 24 Pts
KS:T. Robinson 8 Reb
KS:T. Taylor 5 Ast

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South FloridaKansas
Augustus Gilchrist
Tyshawn Taylor
South Florida Bulls
A. Collins, G322-54-44148
V. Rudd, F311-72-25145
T. Fitzpatrick, F312-80-06115
R. Anderson Jr., F201-30-02152
B. Nash, G190-21-21211
A. Gilchrist, F-C265-111-230311
H. Robertson, G231-30-03202
S. Noriega, G163-60-00028
L. Dority, G20-10-00000
J. Heath, GDid Not Play
J. Poland, GDid Not Play
A. Damour, FDid Not Play
Totals 15-468-102482042
Kansas Jayhawks
T. Taylor, G338-104-625124
T. Robinson, F316-92-381214
T. Releford, G282-30-03315
J. Withey, C241-54-43126
E. Johnson, G202-90-04305
C. Teahan, G253-84-524011
J. Wesley, F200-11-23021
N. Tharpe, G100-20-00000
K. Young, F50-12-46022
J. Juenemann, G31-20-01012
M. Lindsay, G10-00-00000
N. Roberts, GDid Not Play
C. Garrett, GDid Not Play
B. McLemore, GDid Not Play
J. Traylor, FDid Not Play
Totals 23-5017-2432171170
Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Middle Tenn.17-131-535
La. Tech14-423-10117
Old Dominion12-619-12136
Western Ky.9-915-17226
UT-San Antonio8-1014-19264
So. Miss6-129-22331
North Texas2-168-22339

Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
W. Virginia12-628-924
Iowa St.12-624-1121
Oklahoma St.9-920-1340
Kansas St.8-1021-1457
Texas Tech6-1218-14123
Other games
NC 72 Final
Kentucky 73
Iowa St 66 Final
Michigan 76
UTRGV 35 Final
Ohio St 64
Purdue 63 Final
XAV 66
Arkansas 62 Final
UConn 75
GONZ 75 Final
Illinois 82
MU 61 Final
Wisc 54
PITT 61 Final
Tenn 56
PORT 53 Final
STL 73
SFA 42 Final
Tx A&M 55
Aus Peay 60 Final
Memphis 91
W Virg 62 Final
Miss St 75