No. 8 Jayhawks roll over Texas Tech, 82-57
Tarik Black scored 19 points on perfect shooting in his final game at Allen Fieldhouse, and No. 8 Kansas managed just fine without injured center Joel Embiid in an 82-57 romp over Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
Black, a senior transfer from Memphis, finished 9 of 9 from the field, matching the school record for field goal attempts without a miss held by C.J. Giles (2005) and Mark Randall (1990).
Freshman forward Andrew Wiggins, also likely playing in his final home game, added nine points for the Jayhawks (23-7, 14-3 Big 12), who have already wrapped up their 10th consecutive Big 12 title. Naadir Tharpe came off the bench to contribute 16 points and five assists.
Toddrick Gotcher scored 10 points to lead the Red Raiders (13-17, 5-12), who trailed by 20 points at halftime and never threatened down the stretch in losing their sixth straight game.
The lopsided victory allowed Kansas to celebrate its latest conference title in style.
The Jayhawks backed into the outright championship despite a loss last weekend at Oklahoma State, and coach Bill Self was so disheartened by the performance that he ordered the title T-shirts and hats waiting in the locker room to remain boxed. His decision was criticized in some circles, but he defended it in a news conference Tuesday.
They were finally brought out moments after the final buzzer Wednesday, along with a series of tables at midcourt on which staff members placed the Jayhawks' 10 straight Big 12 title trophies.
Self also made sure that senior night at Kansas focused on the seniors, which is why Black started alongside classmates Niko Roberts and Justin Wesley. All three were honored with framed jerseys before the game.
Still, the packed crowd was keenly aware that it was probably the last time Wiggins would step on the Phog's court, too. The fans roared at every basket made by the star forward, who has already made it clear that he plans to enter the NBA draft this summer.
All the positive vibes made it easy to forget that the Jayhawks were playing without Embiid, their talented 7-foot freshman, whom Self decided to sit the rest of the regular season because of a lower back strain. It's the same injury that caused Embiid to miss a game against TCU earlier in the season, though Self is hopeful he will be back for the Big 12 tournament.
Without the big man patrolling the paint, it was up to Black to leave his mark.
The graduate transfer dominated the overmatched Red Raiders in the paint, scoring just about all his baskets at the rim. The highlight came in the midst of a 17-4 run to end the first half, when Black caught an alley-oop pass from Tharpe and slammed it home.
By the time Conner Frankamp buried a 3-pointer and Frank Mason added a free throw in the final seconds, the lead had swelled to 39-19 and Kansas was well on its way.
The second half was merely an excuse for another sellout crowd, this one including 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Packers coach Mike McCarthy, to enjoy a rollicking party.
The loss means that Red Raiders coach Tubby Smith, who spent most of the game sitting glumly on the bench, will have to beat Texas on Saturday and then win the Big 12 tournament - four games in four days - to avoid his first losing season in 23 years as a head coach.
Texas Tech still has never won in 14 tries at Allen Fieldhouse.
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