The No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks (16-5, 7-1 Big 12) fell to the No. 25 Texas Longhorns (17-4, 6-2 Big 12) on Saturday by a score of 81-69.
From the beginning of the game, Texas was dominant in all phases. The Longhorns were able to use their size to win in the paint—dominating contested points as well as the glass.
No. 25 Texas dominated No. 6 Kansas today. Big win.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 1, 2014
Texas found success by combining the scoring efforts of forward Jonathan Holmes and guard Isaiah Taylor. Both were able to handle the brunt of the workload as they combined for 45 points.
However, the entire team was able to contribute in many ways. Center Cameron Ridley and guard Demarcus Holland had great days on the boards, as they collected 10 and 11 rebounds, respectively. Their efforts allowed the Longhorns to out-rebound the Jayhawks 44-37.
Even with the team's second-leading scorer Javan Felix sitting out for a good portion of the game due to foul trouble, the team showed its depth and didn't miss a beat.
Martez Walker replaces Javan Felix after he draws his second foul (15:05). #KANvsTEX— Texas Basketball (@TexasMBB) February 1, 2014
Longhorns coach Rick Barnes told ESPN.com that he knows he has a good basketball team, "We're a good team. But it's such a fine line between winning and losing. If you start drinking the poison, it will all get away from you."
Texas has now won six consecutive games, and will look to keep its hot streak going on Tuesday when they travel to play TCU.
On the other hand, Kansas got off to a slow start and could never recover.
With Texas dominating in size, Kansas just couldn't find points in the paint. Forward Perry Ellis and center Joel Embiid had difficulty getting through the Longhorns defense. In fact, Texas finished the game with 12 blocks as a team—most of which came inside the paint.
Kansas coach Bill Self was rather disappointed by the play of his big men against Texas. Said Self, "I thought our big guys played pretty soft. We didn't do a good job attacking the rim like we should. Their speed offset our length."
Guard Wayne Selden Jr. was the lone bright spot for the Jayhawks over the duration of the game. He was able to connect on eight of 16 attempts from the field and put up 21 points on the day.
Unfortunately, if Kansas is to right the ship, they will need more than a one-man show going forward. Kansas is slated to play against Baylor—the team that upset eighth-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday—and will need a far better performance than what they were able to deliver against Texas.
One big help will be to get Andrew Wiggins back on track. The freshman averaged 24.3 points over the Jayhawks' three previous games; however, he fouled out late with just seven points on the day after making just two of his 12 shots from the field.
At least the good news for Kansas is that they are still one game ahead of Texas in the Big 12 standings.
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Embiid was not able to find much space to work with under the basket against the Longhorns. He finished the game connecting on three of his nine field-goal attempts for eight points. He was, however, able to come away with 10 rebounds on the day.
Game Grade: B-
Andrew Wiggins, G, Kansas
Wiggins was simply off on Saturday. The Jayhawks shot just 38.5 percent from the field as a team, and Wiggins' 2-of-12 performance was certainly a factor. He finished with only seven points in 30 minutes, the Jayhawks will need more efficient production out of him going forward.
Game Grade: D+
Wayne Selden Jr., G, Kansas
Selden did everything he could to keep Kansas in the game on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to the lackluster effort by the remainder of the team, his valiant performance fell short. Selden had 21 points—easily leading the team. Perry Ellis was the only other player in double-figures with 11 points. The Jayhawks will need a much more balanced effort moving forward.
Game Grade: A
Isaiah Taylor, G, Texas
Taylor was absolutely on point against Kansas on Saturday. He led the Longhorns in points with 23 and did so efficiently. He connected on seven of his 14 attempts from the field and made all eight of his free throws. He is looking to be a player that the Longhorns will be able to rely on throughout the remainder of the season.
After the game, Taylor was asked what coach Barnes told him at halftime. Said Taylor, "He told us to keep our foot on their throat and don't let up."
Game Grade: A+
Cameron Ridley, C, Texas
Ridley showed that he was capable of being very dominant in the paint against Kansas. The biggest player on the court, Ridley used his size to successfully box out smaller players and dominate inside. He finished the game just shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, adding 4 blocks in just 23 minutes.
Game Grade: B