Published March 03, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Thomas Robinson had 25 points and 14 rebounds in his likely Allen Fieldhouse finale, Tyshawn Taylor added 22 points and No. 3 Kansas rolled to a 73-63 win over Texas on Saturday night.
Robinson scored 18 of his points in the second half as the Big 12 champion Jayhawks (26-5, 16-2) tuned up for the conference tournament in style. Kansas has won eight straight overall, 22 in a row at home and improved to 20-7 all-time against the Longhorns.
J'Covan Brown scored 29 of his 33 points in the second half for Texas (19-12, 9-9), which missed out on a chance to help its own NCAA tournament resume. The Longhorns head to Kansas City needing a couple wins to feel comfy on Selection Sunday.
Taylor also had four assists and four rebounds in his last home game. The guard from Hoboken, N.J., was honored prior to the tip along with fellow seniors Connor Teahan and Jordan Juenemann.
All three of them were in the Jayhawks' starting lineup along with Robinson, a junior forward who is expected to be chosen highly in the NBA draft this summer.
Kansas and Texas have waged their share of memorable games in recent years — four of the past six seasons they've met in the conference tournament title game, and it was Texas that ruined the Jayhawks' 69-game home winning streak last season.
In this one, they spent most of the first half trying to wake up.
The Jayhawks, who wrapped up the outright conference title Monday night, used an 8-0 run just before the break to establish some breathing room. But the Longhorns still managed to stay within 26-21 when Clint Chapman scored on a putback with 1.3 seconds left in the half.
Brown had hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the second half, briefly drawing Texas within two, when the complexion of the game changed suddenly.
The Jayhawks came down court and ran their offense to perfection, getting Robinson an open look under the basket. Just before he went up for an easy dunk, the Longhorns' Alexis Wangmene collapsed in a heap under the basket, clutching his left wrist and his face contorted in pain.
Wangmene told Brown that he thought he'd broken it as Texas trainers came to the floor. They eventually helped the senior forward to his feet and straight to the locker room.
Wangmene had held Robinson to seven points on 3-for-10 shooting in the first half.
Without him, the Longhorns had no answer for the big guy inside.
Robinson scored four straight baskets for Kansas later in the second half, on one of them bringing the ball up court and popping a jumper from the elbow for a 43-32 lead.
Brown did his best to shoot Texas back into the game, unfurling a silky 3-point shot whenever he got an open look, taking it off the dribble when he was closely guarded.
He simply didn't have any help.
The Longhorns wound up shooting 38 percent from the field and went 3 for 17 from beyond the 3-point line — Sheldon McClellan was the only player other than Brown to hit from deep.
Kansas stretched the lead to 60-46 when Travis Releford got an alley-oop layup to go off a feed from Taylor with 6:22 left in the game. The lead never reached single digits the rest of the way as the Jayhawks won their 28th consecutive home finale.
Robinson, Taylor and Teahan all received curtain calls with 28.3 seconds left. Juenemann checked out of the game a few seconds later to a standing ovation.