Kansas’ depleted lineup dismantled by Cincinnati in Big 12 Tourney

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Jayhawks’ injury-filled roster had a second-half surge but couldn’t overcome Cincinnati in a 72-52 loss in the second round of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

This is the first time Kansas has not made it to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Kansas began the game without seniors Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson, who will miss the tournament due to injuries. They also had a limited bench due to injuries.

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Nic Timberlake and Elmarko Jackson started in their place.

After KJ Adams Jr. scored the opening basket, the Jayhawks played catch-up throughout the first half, going down by as many as eight, almost halfway through the half down 19-11.

Buckets from Jamari McDowell and Adams buckets cut the lead down to 19-16 before the Bearcats responded with two threes from Day Day Thomas and Simas Lukosius to increase their lead to 27-19 with 7:19 to go.

Cincinnati ran away with the lead and ended the first half with a 38-25 lead over Kansas.

The Jayhawks missed all eight of their three-point attempts in the first half while the Bearcats shot 41.7% from three.

Kansas also shot 34.5% from the field at the half.

After the first half opened with no shots being made in the first two minutes, Kansas went on a 13-3 run where McDowell hit the first three of the game at the 16:45 mark.

After bringing the game within two at 40-38, Cincinnati took the lead back to five at 43-38 with 10:58 to go.

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Cincinnati went on a 10-2 run thanks to threes from Dan Skillings Jr. and Simas Lukošius to take a 53-42 lead with eight minutes to go.

The Bearcats imposed their will the rest of the way.

Adams used a herculean effort to lead the Jayhawks with 22 points and four rebounds in 34 minutes of game time. Dajuan Harris recorded eight points and five assists, while freshman Johnny Furphy tallied 2 points on 1 of 8 shots, including three missed threes.

Six players recorded double-digit minutes in the game.

Kansas finished shooting 34% from the field and 15% from three.

KU ends the regular season with a 22-10 record and some experts have them as a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

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