Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks fought off the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, 80-72, inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday night, led by 21 points from junior Christian Braun.
Kansas improves to 9-1 on the season while Stephen F. Austin falls to 8-4, including their second-straight loss. The Jayhawks shot 48.1 percent (26-of-54) from the floor in the game, while the Lumberjacks shot a season-high 53.4 percent (31-of-58).
Kansas outlasted Stephen F. Austin down the stretch, led by Braun’s 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. Braun was joined in double-figures by senior Ochai Agbaji (18 points), senior Remy Martin (15 points) and Jalen Wilson (10 points).
Agbaji started the scoring with a 3-pointer on Kansas’ opening possession, and the Jayhawks would use his hot hand throughout the first half.
Leading 9-7 in the opening minutes, Agbaji received a pass from junior Christian Braun in transition, which Agbaji nailed for his second 3-pointer of the game. On the next possession, Agbaji would sink his third of the game from deep, giving KU a 15-7 lead. The Jayhawks would build on the momentum and go on a 10-0 run to give KU a 19-7 advantage with 11:13 remaining.
Despite Kansas’ lead, they were unable to pull away as the Lumberjacks went on a 10-0 run to bring the game to a tie at 23 a-piece with 5:35 to go in the first half. The Jayhawks would go on a 9-0 run of their own late in the half to take a halftime lead of 38-31. Agbaji led all scorers at the break with 11 points.
The second half remained tight until the Jayhawks reclaimed its advantage by as many as nine at 65-57, when they went on a 9-2 run with 7:33 remaining. The two teams would trade punches over the next four minutes, with Stephen F. Austin clawing to within one point at 67-66 with 3:46 to go.
With the Jayhawks leading 73-70, Martin connected on a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down to put KU ahead, 76-70 with 34 seconds remaining.
Following a Lumberjacks fast-break layup, redshirt sophomore Dajuan Harris was sent to the line where he connected on a pair of free throws to make it 78-72 with 26 seconds remaining in the game. The Jayhawks would go on to defeat the Lumberjacks, 80-72.
The Jayhawks will hit the road for one last road contest of 2021, taking on the Colorado Buffaloes on December 21 in Boulder, Colorado. Kansas will return home to host Harvard on December 29 at Allen Fieldhouse.