FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)Big 12 scoring leader Jalen Wilson was struggling with his shot for third-ranked Kansas, and standout freshman Gradey Dick didn’t score again after reaching 19 points only two minutes into the second half.
The Jayhawks, in pursuit of their 21st Big 12 regular-season title, still never trailed after halftime and extended the league’s longest active winning streak to five in a row, beating 24th-ranked TCU 63-58 on Monday night.
”I’ve said all along, we’ve got five guys that can all go out there and play and take over the game. And that’s the beauty of our team,” said Wilson, who had 13 rebounds while making only 3-of-11 shots for seven points, more than 13 below his season average. ”We’re all going to have some type of effort to win. … That’s part of a championship team.”
Damion Baugh missed a potential tying 3-pointer with five seconds left for TCU (18-10, 7-8 Big 12). Shahada Wells missed a follow-up layup before Kevin McCullar, who finished with 15 points, was fouled and made two free throws to seal it for the Jayhawks (23-5, 11-4).
Kansas began the night tied with idle eighth-ranked Texas for the conference lead. Coach Bill Self’s reigning national champions have won seven of eight games since a three-game losing streak that included a 23-point home loss to the Horned Frogs.
”We haven’t accomplished jack, but we’ve put ourselves in a favorable position to maybe do something,” Self said. ”Everybody talked about our sky’s falling when we lost three in a row. In this league, that can happen easily. But we’ve recovered pretty good since then.”
Not even an appearance from Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan could get the Frogs over the hump. They were within 56-53 with 6:07 left when the four-year starting quarterback, still in his tuxedo after receiving the Davey O’Brien Award in a ceremony about four miles from campus, waved the crowd into a frenzy while going to a courtside seat.
”He looked good tonight with the tux on,” Self said. ”I’m just glad he didn’t get here any earlier.”
Neither team made a field goal in the final 4:19. TCU missed its last six shots over that span, while the Jayhawks were 0-for-4 in the final 4:45.
The Frogs tied the game at 48 with 10:13 left when Jakobe Coles made a tough leaner while being fouled, but missed the free throw that would have put them in the lead.
Mike Miles Jr. had 13 points for TCU, which has lost five of its last six games. The first four of those losses came when the guard was out with a hyperextended right knee. Coles added 12 points and Baugh had 11.
It was only the second game Miles and big man Eddie Lampkin played together for the Frogs since their 83-60 win at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 21. That was the second-worst home loss for Kansas in Self’s 20 seasons.
With both of them starting again, TCU beat Oklahoma State 100-75 at home Saturday to end a four-game losing streak while hitting the century mark in a Big 12 game for the first time. Lampkin, who missed four of six games after a high left ankle sprain in the first meeting against the Jayhawks, had two points and eight rebounds in the rematch.
”It’s disappointing how we played and how we executed and how we handled the situation,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. ”Obviously played good in our last game, excited about having our guys back. But we just didn’t carry it over.”
Kansas: The Jayhawks reached 11 conference wins for the 29th consecutive season, a streak that began in 1994-95 and is the longest active in Division I. They have three regular-season games left, two at home before the finale at Texas.
TCU: After shooting a season-high 68.6% against Oklahoma State two days earlier, the Frogs were a season-low 30.3% (20 of 66) from the field against Kansas. They missed their first eight shots in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game, then missed their last six shots before the break. TCU missed nine of it last 10.
Kansas is home Saturday to play West Virginia.
TCU travels to Texas Tech on Saturday.
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