LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP)—The record for the most lopsided loss in Texas Tech history stood for less than a week. Maybe Bob Knight knew when to leave.
Russell Robinson scored 15 points and No. 5 Kansas played everybody wearing a uniform in a 109-51 thrashing of the Red Raiders on Monday night. The 58-point margin topped the 44-point pounding at Texas A&M last Wednesday that had gone into the record book as Tech’s worst loss ever.
And what did the Red Raiders do in between historic setbacks? They beat then-No. 5 Texas 83-80, halting the Longhorns’ eight-game winning streak.
“I feel like someone put a meat necklace around my neck and threw me into a lion’s den,” said rookie coach Pat Knight, who succeeded his father, Bob, as head coach nine games ago.
“They killed us,” Pat Knight said. “The thing that upsets me again, just like the A&M game, is that we didn’t compete. I had guys that I honestly thought looked scared when they got out there on the court. Not one guy showed up tonight.”
As a dejected Knight sat on the Texas Tech bench in the final 10 minutes, his Kansas counterpart seemed almost as glum. Bill Self kept hustling reserves onto the court on an emotional Senior Night before a packed crowd in Allen Fieldhouse. But he couldn’t stop the Jayhawks from shooting almost 60 percent while Texas Tech (16-12, 7-8) shot a miserable 29 percent in the biggest rout in Big 12 history.
“I didn’t like that. I have a lot of respect, and I really like Pat,” Self said. “Nobody likes to be on that end. I apologized to Pat after the game. He’s great. He said, `It’s not your fault.”’
All but one of Kansas’ 16 players scored as the Jayhawks (27-3, 12-3) set a record for the most lopsided conference victory in their storied basketball history and tied for their seventh-largest victory ever.
“We did play guys and everybody made shots and they couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” Self said. “But I didn’t like that at all. I’m certainly glad we had a chance to play everybody. Still, nobody likes to win that way, by that margin.”
Knight didn’t make any of his players available to the media.
“I warn them, and I talk to them, and I beg them, but I can’t play for them,” he said. “What I need to do is have a heart and brain transplant during a timeout. But I can’t do that. They have to learn from it. I told them you can’t play casual basketball in the Big 12 or you’ll lose by 20 or 40 points.”
Kansas completed a 20-0 home season, the 14th time they’ve been unbeaten in tradition-soaked 53-year-old Allen Fieldhouse. One of the home wins this year was in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
The rout began taking on historic proportions with about 10 minutes left when Jeremy Case, a little-used senior, hit a 3-pointer that made it 80-36.
As Self sat on the bench looking gloomy, Case drilled two more 3-pointers and Cole Aldrich rebounded a miss and hit a hook shot, making it 88-38 with 8:11 left and bringing a thunderous, sustained roar from the sellout crowd.
Knight sat back in his chair as Rodrick Stewart canned another 3 for a 91-38 lead.
“I wasn’t even looking at the score,” Case said. “I was just playing. I was playing like it was close. We felt like we were making a run. But I didn’t realize it was as bad as it is.”
Six Jayhawks scored in double figures.
Martin Zeno had 19 points for Texas Tech and John Roberson added 15.
The Jayhawks, who pride themselves on being one of the most balanced teams in the country, had 51 points in the first half without anyone reaching double figures.
They got off to a ragged start, with Brandon Rush throwing up two straight air balls, but finally found their rhythm and went on a 10-0 run, capped by Aldrich’s basket that made it 30-26.
After Roberson hit two uncontested 3-pointers over an uncharacteristic Kansas zone, the Jayhawks called time out and then unleashed a 17-2 run and went into halftime with a 51-26 lead.
Sherron Collins had 13 points in the historic win for Kansas, while Mario Chalmers and Aldrich both had 11 and Jackson and Sasha Kaun had 10 each.
The five seniors—Case, Jackson, Kaun, Robinson and Stewart—are 108-23 and going for their fourth straight Big 12 championship.