Too Close for Comfort?

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The Kansas Jayhawks’ 69 to 62 win over the Temple Owls was a battle to say the least.  KU’s home win streak rose to 30 as the Jayhawks had to come back towards the end in order to emerge as victors.  After such a dominating performance at Ohio State two weeks ago, one would think the Jayhawks would handle an unranked Temple team at home very easily.  That was not the case Sunday, but Kansas was fortunate to still come out on top.

KU’s offensive play was somewhat disappointing. The Jayhawks had a field goal percentage of 46 along with 36 three point percentage.  Then again, we were used to the Jayhawks shooting an average 56 percent from the field going into the game.  The most disappointing stat for KU was 14 turnovers.  However, Kansas made shots when they needed to.  Ben McLemore, who could not get much going, had a quiet 13 points, but some very audible dunks.  KU was able to hang on late with a dagger of a three hit by Travis Releford with 37 seconds left in the game.  However, the true stand-out, and biggest surprise, of the game was Kevin Young.  Young’s 16 points and 10 rebounds was the key to the Jayhawks’ win.

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Defensively, Kansas was lights out.  The Jayhawks held Temple to a field goal percentage of just 30.  Jeff Withey had 9 of Kansas’ 12 blocks and also had 11 rebounds.  Kansas seemed to force Temple into some wild shots, and that was big from a defensive standpoint. While KU lacked a great number of forced turnovers, this was mostly because of the pace Temple runs.  Kansas needs to make some defensive adjustments in order to force more steals against any sort of offense.  In the end, the Jayhawks’ defense ceased to amaze and simply beat out the Owls.

The game was closer than many would have wanted, but some credit has to be give to Temple.  The Owls can keep road games close, and have beaten top ten teams like they did to Syracuse earlier in the year.  Temple is a good team who could have one this game.  At Kansas, it is near  impossible to win, especially when the Jayhawks are competing for a top spot in the country.  Temple simply had no response to the perseverance shown by Kansas late in the game.  KU had too much to lose and their execution towards the end won the game.

Drew Agnello

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