Gonzaga will spend another week atop the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll.
USA TODAY Sports
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Josh Jackson’s left eye was still blood red after it got poked during practice earlier in the day, and a bruise was forming on Frank Mason III’s right elbow after a spill over courtside tables as he tried to save a loose ball.
Yes, third-ranked Kansas is a supremely talented team.
Turns out the Jayhawks have a lot of fight, too.
Jackson dealt with the bright lights that caused him vision problems to score 18 points, Mason’s trip over the table highlighted his 21-point performance, and the Jayhawks rebounded from a rare home loss to hold off pesky Kansas State, 74-71, on Monday night.
“I think those plays define seasons,” Kansas coach Bill Self said afterward. “It’s always an extra-possession hustle play that means the most to your team.”
All those hustle plays allowed the Jayhawks (21-3, 9-2 Big 12) to beat the Wildcats (16-8, 5-6) for the fifth straight time, though it was just as nip-and-tuck as their meeting in Lawrence.
The game was tied 63-all with 2:50 left when Kansas ripped off six quick points, but the Wildcats kept hanging around. D.J. Johnson hit three of four foul shots down the stretch, and Kamau Stokes hit a 3-pointer from the wing to get within 72-69 with 19.2 seconds to go.
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