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Kansas Men’s Basketball Pass North Texas in Orlando First Round | Sports




The Kansas men’s basketball defeated North Texas 71-59 on Thursday in the quarterfinal of the ESPN Events Invitational.

From the jump, the back and forth dominated, no team being able to keep both hands on the ball. But familiarly, Kansas first hit the scoreboard with a classic three winger from senior goalie Ochai Agbaji.

After Agbajis’ triple, junior guard Christian Braun kept a warm hand with three of his own, and from that point on, the Jayhawks sailed. Physicality played a huge role in the Jayhawks’ victory, especially in the first half after six trips to the charity strip. Kansas converted eight of 11 free throws, which helped them take a big advantage in the first half.

In the middle of the busy opening 20 minutes of play of transition, super senior forward Mitch Lightfoot anchored the paint with just six points, but on two maneuvers and one post thanks in part to precise passes from the perimeter.

Speaking of perimeter play, red-shirted second-year forward Jalen Wilson saw the pitch for the first time this season after an early drinking and driving arrest on Halloween morning. Wilson immediately impacted the game with a pass to Lightfoot, which led to a move to the free throw line as well as some acrobatic finishes.

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With the Jayhawks leading by eight at halftime, the Mean Greens struggled to get back into the game after trailing in double digits most of the time.

To start the second half, everything was Braun – seven points in the first five minutes. The Burlington, Kansas native closed the game with 16 of six points for eight shots and five rebounds. Braun finished in double digits alongside Agbaji [18] and super senior guard Remy Martin who scored 15 points, including 11 in the second half for Martin, including three deep balls.

The Kansas bench joined in the firepower of the second half as freshmen like forward Zach Clemence and goaltender Bobby Pettiford saw some action here and there. The pair combined for just four points, all coming from Clemence, however, new legs seemed to help the Jayhawks regain a significant lead.

Kansas takes on Dayton on Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the ESPN Events Invitational.




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