Kansas defeated Tennessee, 82-67, in the semi-finals of the Orlando Classic on Friday afternoon to advance to Sunday’s championship game. Kansas will play the winner of Marquette-Michigan State.
Kansas went through dominating stretches during both halves but Tennessee also fought back and made it close at several times. With 6:49 left in the game, Kansas was tied with Tennessee at 62-all. The Jayhawks finished the game on a 20-5 run.
Four Jayhawks finished in double figures and they were led by Cliff Alexander and Perry Ellis.
RCB Player of the Game: Perry Ellis
Perry Ellis led all Jayhawks with 24 points on 6-for-16 shooting. Ellis was aggressive all game long and even attempted three 3-pointers early on, making one. Ellis also hit 11-of-12 shots from the charity stripe.
Ellis was the only player in the game that had more than six rebounds, grabbing 13 total. Additionally, Ellis had three assists.
Overall, a fantastic game from the Kansan.
Honorable Mention: Cliff Alexander — Big Cliff had a career-high 16 points and grabbed four rebounds in just 20 minutes of play. He also had a big blocked shot in the second half. Alexander made another case for him to start. Like Ellis, he got to the free throw line frequently, shooting 6-of-9 from the line.
I’d like to give Frank Mason a mention, as well. Mason had 11 points, 7 assists, two steals and just two turnovers.
You Let the Whole Team Down: Kansas Turnovers
Kansas turned it over 16 times in the game and the Volunteers took advantage of it, scoring 24 points off turnovers.
I’ll actually separate Mason out of this with his seven assists and three turnovers. The rest of the team combined for 13 turnovers and just 10 assists. You can forgive Mason for his turnovers because of his assists number.
Considering how well this team was moving the ball in the first half, they should not have turned it over that many times.