Allen sinks clutch jumper as No. 20 Texas hangs on to beat No. 8 Kansas 79-76

Nicholas Pannes, Sports Reporter

Off the back of exceptional performances from star players, Texas became the first team in the Big 12 to beat Kansas three times in a row since the Jayhawks hired head coach Bill Self 19 years ago.

Senior forward Timmy Allen was the flashiest star on the court Monday. He sank a mid-range shot to give Texas a decisive 77-76 lead with 21 seconds remaining, the last of several baskets that were instrumental in shifting the momentum of the game. Allen scored a season-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting.

“He basically had an uncontested free throw to put them up,” Self said. “The fact that we didn’t contest that one possession … that was the biggest play of the game.”

Senior forward Christian Bishop continued a recent streak of stellar rebounding with seven offensive rebounds on the night. The entire Kansas offense only recorded six.

Bishop’s play was the centerpiece of Texas head coach Chris Beard’s game plan, which he said primarily focused on out-rebounding Kansas.

“It’s really easy to talk about on the dry-erase board, (but) it’s really difficult to do when you’re out there,” Beard said. “And we did it. We scrapped and we battled and we out-rebounded.”

Beard also noted Texas’ improvement in ball control. Turnovers have plagued Texas in some losses this year, most recently against Texas Tech on Feb. 1. But the Longhorns finished with only seven turnovers on Monday.

Despite all the flashy statlines in the game at Frank Erwin Center, the player Beard credited the most for the win only racked up seven points, two rebounds and one steal.

“I think the one individual you got to talk about tomorrow is (senior guard) Courtney Ramey,” Beard said. “To not recognize the defense Ramey played tonight would be foolish.”

Ramey was tasked with defending leading Kansas senior guard Ochai Agbaji and held the prolific scorer to just 11 points. Agbaji was averaging 20.8 points per game before coming to Austin.

“I’ve been in this league 16 years,” Beard said. “(Agbaji) is special. He’s one of the best offensive players in the Big 12. Ramey made it really hard on him.”

Beyond national rankings, the game has significant implications for standings within the Big 12 conference. Kansas held a firm grasp on the top spot with an 8-1 conference record, a feat punctuated by their rout of reigning national champion Baylor just two days ago.

The victory put Texas at a 5-1 record over their last six games and lifted them to 18-6 overall.
The Longhorns are now 7-4 in conference play. They remain in fourth place, but this win puts them within spitting distance of Kansas, Texas Tech and Baylor, who are first, second and third respectively.