#6 Kansas rides clutch shooting, defense to big win over TCU

It wasn’t always easy inside of a raucous Allen Fieldhouse but Kansas did just enough to leave their home floor with a victory Thursday night 72-68 over TCU. It was a bounce back victory for the Jayhawks after losing to this same TCU team just two days ago down in Fort Worth.

Kansas had a much better shooting performance this time out against the Horned Frogs. The Jayhawks shot 43.6% from the field on the night compared to shooting 37.3% from the field on Tuesday night.

Kansas was paced by a variety of scorers but they were led by 22 points from senior Ochai Agbaji and he was joined by junior Christian Braun who had 12 points on the night as he was 4-4 from the field including a pair of three pointers. 

Even though Braun was able to chip in 12 points on the night he noted that he could’ve been a more aggressive scorer in the game. 

“I didn’t do a very good job being aggressive today at all,” Braun said. “[Agbaji and Braun] told me I needed to shoot the ball.”

Braun had only four points in the first half before adding eight more in the second on a pair of three pointers including one with 3:26 left in the game to put Kansas ahead by five points.

While Braun and Agbaji were the leaders in the scoring column tonight, junior Dajuan Harris had a great game on both ends of the floor. It was a particularly inspiring performance for Harris as he entered the game against TCU having not scored a single point in the last two games for Kansas.

The fact that Harris had not scored was not lost on his head coach Bill Self and Harris remarked on how his coach pushed him to make an impact.

“We had film yesterday and we watched the TCU game and coach called me something I didn’t like so I had to show him that I wasn’t that word he called me,” Harris said. “I gotta keep having confidence.”

Confidence is definitely what Harris showed in the game as he only had three points in the first half but continued to be aggressive and scored nine points on 4-6 shooting in the second half, highlighted by making his last four shots to end the game including a three pointer. Harris also had the game sealing block on Mike Miles.

Harris’ aggressiveness in the game was not lost on coach Self as he was pleased with how his point guard played.

“I thought he set the tone right from the start with Och offensively and Juan defensively,” Self said.

Self highlighted in particular how well Harris, and the rest of the team, guarded star TCU guard Mike Miles. 

In the first meeting Miles had 19 points on 6-14 shooting with a pair of threes. In the rematch tonight Miles was held to five points on 2-12 shooting and also committed four fouls.

This win was important for Kansas as they finish out the regular season and hope to clinch a share of the Big 12 title, a fact that was not lost on coach Self.

“To me it did [feel like the Big 12 title was on the line],” Self said. “I tried not to say it to the players but it probably [felt that way] to them too.”

Kansas has one game left on the schedule as they take on the 21st ranked Texas Longhorns on Saturday afternoon for Senior Day. If the Jayhawks win they will clinch at least a share of the Big 12 championship and could win it outright if Iowa State defeats Baylor on Saturday

That Senior Day matchup is scheduled to tip-off at 3pm from Allen Fieldhouse and can be seen on ESPN.