Mason leads KU comeback over Oklahoma on senior night

It’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish. That phrase couldn’t have been any truer on Monday night for the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (26-3, 15-2 Big 12).

Oklahoma (10-19, 4-13 Big 12) led by as many as 12 in the second half and were up 10 with 9:43 remaining and many KU fans starting feeling antsy. That’s when KU decided to start playing like the No. 1 team in the land, and they kicked it into high gear. The Jayhawks came roaring back as they ended the game on a 31-9 run, and cruised to a 73-63 victory.

Kansas was ridiculously hot, as they made 13 of their last 15 shots. At one point during the run, KU had made nine straight shots. Monday night was just another example of why this Kansas team is so dangerous. No matter how much they are down, they can rip off a 10-0, 12-0 run in the blink of an eye and be right back in the ballgame.

Frank Mason III closed out his Allen Fieldhouse career with a bang. He finished the night with 23 points, six assists, three rebounds, three steals and a block. Mason even showed a little emotion as he walked off court for the final time, something we rarely see from the Player of the Year candidate. Mason finishes his career with a 59-2 record at Allen Fieldhouse.

“The best guard I’ve ever coached, and this year’s National Player of the Year,” Bill Self said while introducing Mason to the crowd for senior day speeches after the game.

Hard to argue with Self there after watching Mason’s performance all year. He is certainly stating his case for NPOY in the season’s final weeks.

Senior forward Landen Lucas had a typical workman-like performance as he tallied eight points and eight rebounds.

Despite it being senior night at Allen Fieldhouse, junior guard Devonte’ Graham sparked the second half rally. Graham was 3-for-4 from downtown and had nine points in the second half. All three of Graham’s second half threes came during KU’s 31-9 run. It’s encouraging to see Graham heat up from the outside.

Freshman Josh Jackson, who almost certainly played his last game at AFH, had a tough night. Although he notched his seventh double-double in nine games with 11 points and 12 rebounds, he had a career high eight turnovers. That is a aberration for the freshman.

Sophomore Lagerald Vick played a big role in KU’s comeback as he knocked down two three-pointers. He finished the night with 11 points and four rebounds.

The Jayhawks will wrap the regular season on Saturday when they travel to Stillwater take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Oklahoma State is one of the hottest teams in the league. They have won 10 of 11. Make sure to keep up with us here at Rock Chalk Blog as we’ll have coverage of the matchup. Make sure to also follow us on Twitter @RockChalkBlog.

Notes and Observations

  • KU is now 220-10 at Allen Fieldhouse in the Bill Self era.
  • KU averaged 1.28 points per possession in the second half and exactly 1.00 PPP for the game.
  • KU held OU to 0.87 PPP for the game. Any doubts about KU’s defensive intensity should be tempered for now.
  • KU ended the game on a 31-9 run and made 13 of their last 15 FGs.
  • At one point during the run, KU was 9/9 on FGs.
  • Kansas was 9/19 from three-point range.
  • KU out-rebounded OU 37-34.
  • KU committed 19 turnovers, that must be tightened up.
  • Kansas was just 12-20 from the charity stripe, OU was 15-17.
  • Frank Mason finishes with a record 59-2 in AFH, Landen Lucas and Tyler Self finish with a record of 76-3.
  • Mason notched his fifth 20+ point performance in his last six games. In that span he’s averaging 17.6 PPG. He’s currently averaging 20.2 PPG for the year.
  • Lagerald Vick continues to make his case for more minutes with another strong showing tonight
  • After a breakout performance vs. Texas junior forward Dwight Coleby had one point and one rebound in four minutes of action.
  • Junior wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk continues his shooting woes as he was 1-4 and 0-2 from three. He is 3-18 from three-point range.
  • Devonte’ Graham is starting to find his stroke. He was 4-8 from three on Monday, but is six for his last 14 (42%).
  • Tyler Self garnered his first career start. He played three minutes and committed a foul.

Senior speech highlights

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I’m from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I’m a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They’ll always come No.1.