Vick makes 6 threes as KU downs host Bay­lor

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - Sports - BY GARY BEDORE

Kansas bas­ket­ball coach Bill Self en­cour­aged Lager­ald Vick to put up some big num­bers against Bay­lor on the se­nior guard’s spe­cial day.

“Coach told him to make seven (threes) in the first half for his birth­day,” KU ju­nior for­ward Dedric Law­son said af­ter the Jay­hawks’ 73-68 vic­tory over the Bears on Satur­day af­ter­noon at Fer­rell Cen­ter.

Vick made three threes the first half and three more in the sec­ond, scored 18 points and reg­is­tered his 1,000th ca­reer point as a Kansas Jay­hawk in what def­i­nitely clas­si­fied as a happy 22nd birth­day for the 6-foot-5 Mem­phis na­tive.

It turned out KU needed each of those threes as the No. 7ranked Jay­hawks (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) saw a 23-point lead with 6 1/2 min­utes left ac­tu­ally dip to four with 26 sec­onds to play, KU ul­ti­mately hang­ing on to beat the Bears (9-6, 1-2).

“I told him to make seven in the first half,” Self ac­knowl­edged with a smile af­ter the game. “I said, ‘Ev­ery­body is say­ing it’s about you. It’s your birth­day. Why don’t you do

some­thing for me? Make seven.’ He did his part. He played pretty well.”

Vick scored nine points the first half in help­ing KU to an early 18-2 lead and 35-25 half­time ad­van­tage. His sixth point gave him 1,000 points for his fouryear KU ca­reer. He’s now the 61st KU player and the 16th in the 16-year Self era to hit the 1,000 mark.

“It feels great,” the soft-spo­ken Vick said of reach­ing the 1,000 mark. “More to come. Stay hum­ble.”

Vick hit 6 of 10 shots and was 6 of 8 from three. As a team, KU hit 9 of 16 threes to Bay­lor’s 9 of 31.

“He made a cou­ple hard shots at the end of the clock, played re­ally well,” Self said. “He didn’t play like a se­nior down the stretch but I thought he was pretty good to­day.”

Self said just one Jay­hawk played well the last few min­utes as KU’s 23point lead evap­o­rated. Fresh­man Ochai Ag­baji, who scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shoot­ing with three re­bounds in 21 min­utes.

“I thought Ochai was great again. He’s be­com­ing one of our best play­ers,” Self said of the Oak Park High grad­u­ate who has played in two games af­ter sit­ting out the first 14 as an early red­shirt can­di­date.

“He is poised. He made a cou­ple ath­letic plays, kept some balls alive, cer­tainly shot it pretty well. He prob­a­bly had as much poise as any­body down the stretch in a very very small pool of play­ers that did.”

KU won de­spite be­ing out­re­bounded, 49-30.

This is by a Bay­lor team that found out be­fore the game it would be with­out sopho­more for­ward Tris­tan Clark for the rest of the sea­son.

“They kicked our butts on the glass 36 min­utes and de­stroyed us the last four,” Self said. “We were soft. We got punked on the glass.”

The Jay­hawks held Bay­lor with­out a field goal un­til the 9:34 mark of the first half. The Bears started the game 0-15 from the field.

“I’d like to think our de­fense was good,” Self said. “They helped us some, too. They shot it poor early. Our de­fense was good. Then the law of per­cent­ages played out af­ter that.”

Dedric Law­son con­trib­uted 17 points, five blocks and five steals but grabbed just three re­bounds while Devon Dot­son had 14 points, five re­bounds and five as­sists.

KU’s Mitch Light­foot, who had two boards in three min­utes, made con­tact with Ma­son in the sec­ond half and sus­tained a cut on his lip that re­quired what Self called “seven or eight” stitches to close.

“It cut all the way through (lip). He’ll be very ten­der for a while,” Self said.

The Jay­hawks will next meet Texas at 8 p.m. Mon­day in Allen Field­house.

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