KU pulls out win
Published on -11/16/2012, 10:46 AM
LAWRENCE (AP) -- Bill Self dared Ben McLemore to be more aggressive Thursday night.
If the freshman guard hadn't heeded the challenge, seventh-ranked Kansas could have left the court inside Allen Fieldhouse with consecutive losses for the first time in ages.
McLemore wound up with 25 points and eight rebounds, and teamed with Elijah Johnson to trigger a big second-half charge, allowing the Jayhawks to escape with a 69-55 victory against Chattanooga.
"I just wanted to get my teammates involved, too," said McLemore, who added three assists, all despite dislocating his finger twice in the second half. "I just came in tonight with the mindset of being aggressive, like coach wants me to be every night."
The Jayhawks (2-1), coming off a loss Tuesday night to Michigan State, got off to a sluggish start against the Mocs, and still trailed 42-30 in the opening minutes of the second half.
Jeff Withey began their comeback with a basket inside, Johnson ripped a 3-pointer and McLemore slammed down the first of back-to-back highlight-reel dunks to trigger a 27-4 run during the next 12-plus minutes. Kansas merely had to go through the motions down the stretch to wrap up the win.