Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas Jayhawks, ranked ninth in the nation and alone at the top of the Big 12 Conference standings, face their next test against a pesky TCU squad on Wednesday night at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.
The Jayhawks are 5-1 in conference play, giving them first place in the Big 12 standings entering the week. The team has clashed with four straight nationally-ranked foes, all from the Big 12, winning three of those four bouts. The latest victory was a 75-62 triumph over Texas on the road this past Saturday. Tracing back to December, Kansas has won seven of the last eight outings, the lone setback during the stretch being an 86-81 loss to Iowa State 11 days ago on the road.
As for the Horned Frogs, a team which ran the table during six games last month, they have hit the skids of late. Last Saturday, the team bowed to West Virginia in overtime in a remarkable 86-85 final. The loss was the second in a row and the fifth in the last six games, with all but one of those defeats coming against nationally-ranked opponents from the Big 12.
Kansas has won all but one of the previous eight meetings between the programs, the lone victory for the Horned Frogs coming in a 62-55 final at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum two years ago.
In a game that featured five ties and nine lead changes, the Jayhawks turned the ball over a mere three times as they built on a two-point advantage at the break in order to take down the Longhorns in Austin over the weekend. Cliff Alexander tallied 15 points, leading four players in double figures for Kansas, followed by Perry Ellis and Devonte Graham with 14 points apiece. Frank Mason III accounted for 12 points on just 4-of-12 shooting from the floor as he extended his streak of double-digit performances to 16 in a row.
During the course of six conference outings, the Jayhawks are being led on offense by a trio of double-digit scorers, the top man being Mason III with 13.3 ppg. But more than just a scorer, Mason has also accounted for 24 assists in those outings in order to get teammates involved in the action. Ellis checks in with another 12.5 ppg and is responsible for 6.7 rpg, followed by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 11.3 ppg and another 6.2 rpg as the squad beats Big 12 foes on the glass by 5.5 rpg.
The Horned Frogs appeared to be on their way to a win over a nationally-ranked WVU squad, but the visitors to Morgantown let their guard down more than once at crucial junctures and suffered the one-point loss in the waning moments of overtime. Kyan Anderson tallied a game-high 22 points to lead six players in double figures for TCU, followed by Charles Hill Jr. who dropped in 13 points before fouling out.
Amric Fields and Kenrich Williams both tallied 11 points and combined for 14 boards, while Trey Zeigler and Chris Washburn tacked on 10 points each, the latter also pulling down nine rebounds in the losing effort for a group that turned the ball over 19 times and shot only 28-of-44 (.636) at the free-throw line.
A starter in all six conference outings, Anderson leads the TCU offense with 14.3 ppg, but has converted only 7-of-27 from beyond the arc. Zeigler accounts for 11.3 ppg and has combined with Anderson to deliver 36 of the unit's 58 assists in league play.