Udoka Azubuike Drops 29 as Kansas Beats Dayton in OT to Win Maui Invitational

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2019

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) dunks the ball over Dayton guard Rodney Chatman (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Lahaina, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Marco Garcia/Associated Press

Nobody is safe in college basketball this season. 

First then-No. 1 Kentucky lost to Evansville on Nov. 12. Then, preseason No. 1 Michigan State lost to Virginia Tech on Monday. Not to be outdone, current No. 1 Duke lost to Stephen F. Austin in overtime on Tuesday.

The No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks nearly joined the list.

The Big 12 powerhouse survived a scare from the Dayton Flyers of the Atlantic 10 with a 90-84 overtime victory in the 2019 Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday. Dayton's Jalen Crutcher drilled a three-pointer in the waning seconds to force overtime, but the Flyers had no answer for big man Udoka Azubuike in extra time.

Azubuike fouled out with 27.3 seconds remaining in overtime but only after he poured in 29 points with four blocks and three rebounds on 12-of-15 shooting.

It appeared as if the Flyers were going to pull away when Ibi Watson hit a three-pointer to open up an eight-point lead with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, but Kansas responded with an 11-0 run. It consistently turned to Azubuike down low as it battled back, and the big man registered a monster block while nursing a one-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

He was also the focal point in the extra period, as Kansas patiently played through the low post.

While Dayton didn't have the strength on the inside to counter the senior, it responded by unleashing three-pointers throughout the contest.

The Flyers finished 16-of-33 (48.5 percent) from deep, while Obi Toppin spearheaded the overall effort as someone who could attack the basket, score from the blocks and extend his game beyond the arc. Toppin finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and one stare down of the Kansas bench:

It wasn't all Azubuike and Toppin for their respective teams.

Devon Dotson had 31 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists for Kansas, while Ryan Mikesell posted 19 points, five rebounds and four points for the Flyers.

Kansas is now 6-1 on the campaign, while Dayton fell to 5-1.

The Flyers proved their mettle against power conference foes throughout the tournament, defeating Georgia and Virginia Tech to reach the championship game. Kansas beat Chaminade and BYU in its first two contests.

Both teams return home for the next game. Dayton hosts Houston Baptist on Tuesday, while Kansas faces Colorado on Dec. 7.

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