, Texas (PressExposure) April 29, 2009 -- The University of Kansas Jayhawks beat the Texas Longhorns with an 83-73 win at Allen Stadium on March 7th. This marks the Jayhawks 26th straight home finale and ninth title in the 13 year history of the Big 12.
The Longhorns came in having won three of the last four and hoping to earn the fourth for a bye in the conference tournament. Despite gaining a 14 point lead late in the first half and shooting 17 for 30, and changing leads eight times, the Jayhawks narrowed the gap to 44-37 at the break, and dominated the second half to claim its fifth straight Big 12 title.
Damion James gained 12 points in the first eight minutes and scored 20 by halftime, but only took four shots in the second half. He led Texas with 26 points to finish. A.J. Abrams, Texas' leading scorer, only shot 2 for 10 gaining 10 points. Dexter Pittman added 16.
Sherron Collins led the Hawks with 21 points and seven assists, and Cole Aldrich finished with a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
In the first half, it seemed like Texas had a strong lead. They out rebounded Kansas and scored eight straight points on top of an already solid six point lead. But despite Kansas' terrible defensive performance in the first half, Kansas still scored the last seven points of the first half and came back to score the first 10 of the second.
"I told the team at halftime that we lost a few possessions in the first half because we got away from what we wanted to do," said Rick Barnes, head coach for the Longhorns. We turned it over and allowed them to make some plays. In the second half they came out and went at us. With all of that said, if we can make those shots at the rim then we were right where we wanted to be. We missed five shots at the rim that you have to make."
During the second half, the Jayhawks outscored the Longhorns 46-29. With 8 minutes left on the clock, the Longhorns had pulled themselves back into the lead, with 63-62, but the last four minutes produced five missed goals from the field for Texas, and Kansas capitalized on the mistakes. Texas didn't come close after that.
When asked if he thought this years Big 12 had more meaning, Bill Self, head coach for the Jayhawks replied, "I do think, not only to win the league, but to win it outright and match our team from a couple years ago with the 14-2 record speaks volumes for these guys and shows their maturity. Our league is good. You saw a team that could beat anybody, any night. It certainly will rank up there in my eyes. I told our guys after the game that they had a good year. But that they still have to play really well from this point forward."