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Washington stuns No. 2 Kansas

Washington stuns No. 2 Kansas

December 7th, 2017 by Associated Press in College Sports
Washington's Hameir Wright beats Kansas' Lagerald Vick to a loose ball during Wednesday night's game in Kansas City.

Washington's Hameir Wright beats Kansas' Lagerald Vick to...

Photo by Associated Press /News Tribune.

KANSAS CITY — First-year Washington coach Mike Hopkins saw how Kansas dissected Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone defense last week, so he made a couple tweaks to his own version before facing the Jayhawks on Wednesday night.

Primarily, Hopkins stretched the zone to take away the 3-pointer.

It worked to perfection.

The Huskies frustrated the Jayhawks' dangerous lineup of deep threats, Matisse Thybulle hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points, and Washington kept its poise down the stretch for a 74-65 victory that knocked No. 2 Kansas from the ranks of the unbeaten.

"We've been very fortunate this year to play a lot of teams that shoot 30 and 35 3-pointers. It's really the kryptonite of the zone," said Hopkins, who spent 22 years on Jim Boeheim's staff at Syracuse, a tenure that came in handy considering the Jayhawks just beat the Orange.

"I felt like this could be our best opportunity to win the game," Hopkins said.

Jaylen Nowell also had 15 points, and Noah Dickerson added 13 points and 14 rebounds, as the Huskies (7-2) beat the Jayhawks (7-1) for the first time since December 1974.

"We really just didn't have it tonight. You have to give them credit," the Jayhawks' Devonte Graham said. "They made every shot and they did a good job of not letting us get comfortable."

Lagerald Vick had a career-high 28 points for Kansas, doing almost all his damage in the middle of the Huskies' zone. But he didn't get a whole lot of help as the Jayhawks went 5-for-20 from the 3-point arc, lowlighted by lousy performances from their two best sharpshooters.

Graham, coming off back-to-back 35-point outbursts, was held to three points on 1-for-8 shooting, while Svi Mykhailiuk was 3-for-12 from the field and had eight points before fouling out.

"They took everybody away but Lagerald — 'See if you can beat us,'" Kansas coach Bill Self said. "I thought our defense was horrendous and our hustle plays weren't very good either."

Kansas fans headed toward the exits with several minutes left, a rarity for the program. But it didn't surprise the Jayhawks' coach. "If I would have paid to see that," Self said, "I probably would have wanted something to drink long before there was 2 minutes left."

Kansas might want to reconsider games at Sprint Center. The Jayhakws were bounced by TCU in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals last year, then lost to Oregon in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament a couple weeks later.