LAWRENCE, Kan. – Despite a career-high 28 points from junior guard Lagerald Vick, No. 2 Kansas fell to the Washington Huskies, 74-65, Wednesday night at Sprint Center. The Jayhawks, who entered the game ranked eighth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, connected on just 21 percent of their tries from beyond the arc in what resulted in their first loss of the young season.
KU dropped to 7-1 in 2017-18, while Washington moved to 7-2.
After trailing by eight points less than five minutes into the second half, Kansas put together a 10-3 run to pull within 53-52 on a Udoka Azubuike alley-oop dunk with 9:45 remaining in regulation. However, that is as close as the Jayhawks would get with after the pesky Husky squad responding with a 13-2 run to get their lead into double digits and enough cushion to salt away its first victory over a top-10 ranked opponent since 2010.
The Jayhawks intentions were clear from the tip as they dominated in the paint in the early minutes, a sign of things to come for the remainder of the game. Forty-four of Kansas’ 64 points came from inside the paint. KU’s first 10 field goals came from within 10 feet of the rim, four of which were off the hands of Vick. His eight points within the first ten minutes had KU level with the visitors at 18-18 with the Huskies sticking tight with the Jayhawks early.
UW also had a pair of players who boasted hot hands in the first half. Heroics from Jaylen Nowell and Matisse Thybulle, who combined for 19 of their teams 36 first-half points helped the Washington to a two-point lead at the intermission, 36-34. It was the first time this season the Jayhawks found themselves trailing at halftime.
Thybulle continued his hot shooting early in the second frame, scoring five points in the first five minutes out of the lockerroom and pushing his squad’s advantage to 46-40 just over three minutes into the half. Nahziah Carter’s layup at the 15:42 mark handed the Huskies their largest lead to that point of the game at 50-42, still with over 15:00 to play.
The Jayhawks made things interesting with a quick run to cut the UW lead to one point. Vick’s jumper at the 13:07 mark sparked a 10-3 KU run to pull his team within a possession of Washington at 53-52 and forcing UW head coach Mike Hopkins to call a timeout to try and halt the KU charge.
The Huskies responded to the stoppage and came out of the timeout with a 7-0 run of their own to push the lead back to eight at 60-52 with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation. Washington did not turn back from there and got its lead out to double digits with under five minutes to play in the game and closed out a 74-65 upset win over the Jayhawks.
Vick’s career-high 28 points led all scorers while Azubuike was the only other Jayhawk in double figures. The sophomore center tallied 10 points and brought down a team high nine rebounds.
The Jayhawks converted on a season low five three-pointers and went just 5-of-20 (25 percent) from beyond the arc. Kansas’ four free throws, all from Vick, were also the fewest by the team this season.
Kansas will play its second-straight Pac-12 opponent when it hosts Arizona State on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. (Central). The game will be televised on ESPN with Roxy Bernstein and Bill Walton calling the action. Kansas leads the all-time series edge with Arizona State, 5-4, and won the last meeting, 108-76, on March 22, 2003, in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City.
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