Collins helps Kansas remain perfect with win over Yellow Jackets
Sherron Collins had 11 points, including the steal and layup that iced the game with 7.3 seconds left, to lead the third- ranked Kansas Jayhawks past the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 71-66.
Russell Robinson had a team-high 17 points for the Jayhawks (11-0), who have now won 22 straight regular season games dating back to last season. Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers each tallied 11 for Kansas, which will face Miami-Ohio on Saturday.
Lewis Clinch had 22 points for the Yellow Jackets (4-5), who were coming off a 72-67 victory over Georgia State on December 5. Anthony Morrow was the only other Jacket to record double-digit figures, with 12 points.
Despite trailing by as many as 13 points with 5:19 left, Georgia Tech managed to pull within three points, 67-64, on a layup by Matt Causey with 32.1 seconds remaining.
Robinson was fouled on the ensuing possession and missed both free throws to keep it a three-point game with 29.4 seconds left.
After Morrow made two free throws with 9.2 seconds left, the club was only down one point at 67-66. Collins was immediately fouled and made both shots to give Kansas a 69-66 advantage with 8.2 seconds left to play.
"I expected it to be a close game, but I didn't expect it to go down to the wire when we were up 13 with about six minutes left, or 10 with five or whatever it was," Kansas head coach Bill Self said. "But I expected it. I told our guys that they were going to make a run. I had hoped that it would have been early in the half, and then we could handle that, but they made their run late and we missed free throws. But it's good to win games on the road where you have to grind it out. That's not a bad thing."
The Yellow Jackets surprised the Jayhawks by matching the third-ranked powerhouse point-for-point for the better part of the first half. Georgia Tech was so tenacious on defense and aggressive on offense that they were only behind Kansas by two points with 3:27 left before the break, 29-27.
"I thought we were going to win the game," Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt said. "Because we are a good team."
If not for a few defensive miscues that led to seven straight Jayhawk points, capped by a Brandon Rush jumper with 1:36 left, the game could have been a lot closer than the 36-29 halftime score let on.
It is the first time in three years that Kansas has started a season 11-0...This was the sixth all-time meeting between the two teams. Kansas now leads 5-1. The last meeting was on New Year's Day in 2005. KU won an overtime thriller 70-68...Georgia Tech will host Centenary on December 22...The game was Kansas' second on the road this year.
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