cloudyn.png
Wednesday June 19th, 2019 5:37AM

Kansas beats West Virginia 88-74 to reach Big 12 finals

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dedric Lawson transferred to Kansas in part to win championships.

He'll have that chance Saturday night.

The former Memphis standout scored 24 points and the No. 17 Jayhawks, who failed to win a share of the Big 12 regular-season title for the first time in 15 years, roared into the conference tournament title game with an 88-74 victory over West Virginia on Friday night.

"It wasn't our best game," Lawson said, "but looking forward to going out there and playing for a championship. Looking forward to going out there and winning something meaningful."

Quentin Grimes added 18 points before leaving late with cramps, Devon Dotson had 13 and Marcus Garrett 11 for the third-seeded and reigning champion Jayhawks (25-8). They advanced to the final for the third time in four years and will face fifth-seeded Iowa State.

"We need to learn how to close something out, and we get that opportunity tomorrow," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. "They have the same opportunity. It's going to make for a great game."

The 10th-seeded Mountaineers (14-20) led much of the first half and hung tough early in the second, but three games in three days finally caught up to them. Tough wins over Oklahoma and No. 8 Texas Tech left them with tired legs — probably minds, too — and the Jayhawks eventually went on a 13-2 run midway through the second half to seize control.

The lead reached 20 with 7 1/2 minutes to go, and the Jayhawks cruised the rest of the way.

Lamont West led West Virginia with 16 points. Derek Culver had 14.

"I don't want to blame fatigue," Culver said. "Just lack of paying attention to what is going on around you. I'll be the first one to blame. We just got to go back to the drawing board."

Kansas has won the tournament 11 times, and Iowa State is unbeaten in four championship trips, but the two teams have met in the finals just once: The Cyclones won 70-66 in 2015.

Grimes has struggled with his shot most of the season, to say nothing of living up to his five-star status out of high school. But the freshman guard found his stroke from the opening minute, when he buried the first of five first-half 3-pointers to get the Jayhawks off and running.

West Virginia pulled ahead midway through the half, but Grimes added three more 3s to regain the lead, then hit a buzzer-beater from 30 feet to give the Jayhawks a 48-40 advantage.

"He was the reason for the run," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "He was very good."

Lawson fueled their clinching run, getting it started with an easy basket and added another bucket and a 3-pointer during the 13-2 charge. By the time Garrett finished it off, a crowd heavily in favor of Kansas was buzzing about the opportunity to face the Cyclones.

"I bet Iowa State has 70 percent of the building tomorrow," Self said. "You play that first game and you win, you can hustle the tickets off the team that doesn't win. And they're pros at hustling tickets in Kansas City. It'll be the first time in a long time we haven't had a comparable home court, I'd predict. It should be a fun game."

OOPS MOMENT

The Jayhawks were ahead 75-58 with 6:33 left when West hit a pair of free throws. Freshman big man David McCormack gathered the ball while standing out of bounds and tossed it to Garrett for the inbounds. But when Garrett stepped over the out-of-bounds line, it wound up being a turnover, and Self immediately called timeout to lay into his team on the bench.

BIG PICTURE

West Virginia lost four players to injuries, transfers and dismissals, and it left them with very little depth. That appeared to play a factor in the second half, when the Jayhawks began to get up and down the floor and the Mountaineers were unable to keep up.

Kansas has played this week with a chip on its shoulder after failing to win a share of the regular-season title. Now, the Jayhawks have a chance to match the 1999 team by winning the tournament as a No. 3 seed, and perhaps help their NCAA Tournament seeding on Selection Sunday.

UP NEXT

Kansas plays the Cyclones for the championship Saturday night.

___

More AP college basketball: http://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Beyond veto: Trump seeks more work-arounds to avoid Congress
President Donald Trump's first congressional veto was more than a milestone: It signals a new era of ever more fraught relations between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
12:37AM ( 8 minutes ago )
In wake of shooting, New Zealanders show kindness to Muslims
People across New Zealand are reaching out to Muslims in their communities and around the country as mosque shooter appears before a judge
12:24AM ( 21 minutes ago )
No. 25 Villanova rallies past Xavier in OT in Big East semis
Phil Booth scored 28 points, Jermaine Samuels hit a trio of critical 3-pointers and No. 25 Villanova rallied past Xavier 71-67 in overtime to reach its fifth consecutive Big East championship game
12:22AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
No. 5 Duke edges No. 3 UNC 74-73 in ACC semifinals
Zion Williamson had the go-ahead tip-in on his own miss with 30.3 seconds left and fifth-ranked Duke held off third-ranked North Carolina 74-73 in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals
11:49PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Shayok sends Iowa State past K-State in Big 12 semifinals
Marial Shayok hit back-to-back 3-pointers right in front of his own bench to give Iowa State the lead in the final minute, and the fifth-seeded Cyclones held on at the foul line to beat No. 15 Kansas State 63-59 on Friday night in the Big 12 semifinals
11:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Florida State upends No. 2 Virginia 69-59 in ACC semifinals
David Nichols scores 14 points, No. 12 Florida State knocks off No. 2 Virginia 69-59 in Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals
10:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Ex-Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person to plead guilty
Former Auburn assistant basketball coach Chuck Person is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday to a conspiracy charge in a scandal that involved bribes paid to entice young athletes to go to top schools
7:35PM ( 5 hours ago )
No. 19 Wisconsin tops Nebraska 66-62 in Big 10 tourney
Reuvers scores 14 points as No. 19 Wisconsin tops Nebraska 66-62 in Big Ten tourney
6:50PM ( 5 hours ago )
Winston, Loyer lead No. 6 Michigan St. over Ohio St., 77-70
Cassius Winston scored 18 points, Foster Loyer provided a lift off the bench with a career-high 14 points, and No. 6 Michigan State gave Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo his 600th career win, 77-70 over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament
5:27PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
BUBBLE WATCH: Teams on NCAA bubble fear the bid thief
It's the time of Championship Week when programs on the NCAA Tournament bubble start to worry about bid thieves
4:04AM ( 20 hours ago )
Duke freshman star Zion Williamson returns _ with new Nikes
Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson returns to the court with a modified pair of Nike sneakers, turns in nearly flawless performance
4:00AM ( 20 hours ago )
West Virginia beats No. 7 Texas Tech 79-74 in Big 12 Tourney
Emmitt Mathews scores career-high 28 points, 10th-seeded West Virginia upsets No. 7 Texas Tech 79-74 in Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals
11:59PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Guy, Salt help No. 2 Virginia beat NC State 76-56 in ACCs
Kyle Guy scored 29 points and second-ranked Virginia rallied to beat North Carolina State 76-56 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
6:55PM ( 1 day ago )
No. 15 K-State beats TCU 70-61 in Big 12 quarterfinals
Xavier Snead scored 19 points to lead No. 15 Kansas State back from a slow start to beat TCU 70-61 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament
5:59PM ( 1 day ago )
LSU says Wade still suspended; coach seeks to resume duties
LSU counsel says Will Wade remains suspended until he talks to university officials; embattled men's basketball coach seeks to resume his duties
4:40PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Beyond veto: Trump seeks more work-arounds to avoid Congress
President Donald Trump's first congressional veto was more than a milestone: It signals a new era of ever more fraught relations between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
12:37AM ( 8 minutes ago )
In wake of shooting, New Zealanders show kindness to Muslims
People across New Zealand are reaching out to Muslims in their communities and around the country as mosque shooter appears before a judge
12:24AM ( 21 minutes ago )
No. 25 Villanova rallies past Xavier in OT in Big East semis
Phil Booth scored 28 points, Jermaine Samuels hit a trio of critical 3-pointers and No. 25 Villanova rallied past Xavier 71-67 in overtime to reach its fifth consecutive Big East championship game
12:22AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Federer, Nadal on collision course in semis at Indian Wells
Federer, yet to drop a set, reaches Indian Wells semis in bid for record 6th title in desert
12:12AM ( 34 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump issues 1st veto, on border resolution
President Donald Trump has issued the first veto of his presidency
12:05AM ( 41 minutes ago )