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(Saturday, February 1st)
Final Score: (25) Texas 81, (6) Kansas 69
Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Isaiah Taylor scored 23 points and No. 25 Texas came through with another impressive victory over a ranked opponent, an 81-69 decision over sixth-ranked Kansas that dealt the Jayhawks their first Big 12 loss.
The Longhorns (17-4, 6-2 Big 12) vaulted into the top 25 on the strength of successive wins over Iowa State, Kansas State and Baylor -- all of whom were ranked at the time -- then further validated themselves by stifling the Jayhawks into one of their worst offensive performances of the season.
Kansas (16-5, 7-1), which came in shooting 51 percent on the campaign, was held to a 38.5 percent success rate from the field and trailed by double digits much of the way en route to having a seven-game win streak halted.
Freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins mustered just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting against the Longhorns' stout defense.
"They protected the rim and their big guys played much better than our big guys," Jayhawks head coach Bill Self remarked. "It was pretty much a dominating performance by the Longhorns over us today. We never put real pressure on them."
Jonathan Holmes aided Texas' cause with a 22-point effort, while DeMarcus Holland pulled down 11 rebounds in the Longhorns' sixth straight triumph overall.
"I am very happy and excited for our guys, because they went and earned it," said Longhorns head coach Rick Barnes. "They worked hard and deserve this kind of atmosphere. I told them before the game that they deserve it, but are going to have to earn it. They did that."
Wayne Selden paced the Jayhawks with 21 points.
Texas took control via a 17-7 first-half run and didn't let up from there, building a lead as high as 17 points before cruising into the break with a 38-23 lead.
Taylor was the driving force behind the aforementioned spurt, accounting for seven of the Longhorns' points while outshining Wiggins in a matchup of freshman standouts. He started the flurry with a triple that snapped a 10-10 tie, then later capped it with a coast-to-coast layup that put Texas up 27-17 with 5:39 left in the period.
A 9-0 sequence, in which Holmes potted the final seven points, later in the frame extended the margin to 38-21 before Kansas' Joel Embiid closed out the half by making two free throws.
Kansas, which shot a meager 25.8 percent (8-for-31) over the initial 20 minutes, failed to make much headway after the break. Selden and Naadir Tharpe each drained 3-pointers during a 7-0 run that cut the lead to 47-34 with 15:12 left, but the Jayhawks went without a basket over the next three minutes and never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
"We knew we were up double digits at half time, and [Barnes] just told us to keep our foot on their throat and not to let up defensively," Taylor said.
The Jayhawks got as close as 77-66 with 1:41 to go, before Texas sank 4-of-6 foul shots down the stretch to deny any late comeback hopes.
Taylor was coming off a career-high 27-point effort in last Saturday's 74-60 win at Baylor ... The Longhorns were facing four straight ranked opponents for the first time in program history ... Kansas, which shot 50 percent or better in each of its previous four games, fell to 3-4 this season when failing to hit that mark ... Texas' 17-4 record is its best after 21 games since an 18-3 start in 2010-11 ... Kansas had won five straight and eight of the last nine meetings in the series dating back to a win in the 2008 Big 12 Championship Game.
02/01 21:27:57 ET
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