LAWRENCE, Kan. – Marcus Morris recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds as No. 3 Kansas used a strong inside game in the second half to overcome a valiant Nebraska effort and post a 63-60 victory at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
Kansas held on for the win as after Tyrel Reed made one of two free throws with 10 seconds left to put KU up 63-60, Nebraska came down the floor with one final shot to tie the game. A three-point attempt by Lance Jeter bounced off the rim with one second left.
The Jayhawks have now beaten Nebraska 16 consecutive times, as well as 25 of the last 26 meetings. Kansas improved to 17-0 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 play. Nebraska dropped to 13-4 and 1-2.
Morris became the 53rd player in Kansas history reach the 1,000-point mark in a career as he tied Reed for game-high scoring honors with 16 points. Morris scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half as he made six of nine shots. Reed drilled four three pointers en route to his third-best scoring game of the year.
No other Jayhawks scored in double figures. Nebraska was led by 13 points from Jeter and 10 from Andre Almeida.
After scoring just four points in the paint in the first half, KU went inside to start the second half, scoring six of its first 10 second-half points underneath. KU kept pounding the ball inside and scored 24 points in the paint after the break.
After Reed hit a three-pointer with 13 minutes left, KU scored nine straight baskets inside with four dunks and five layups, but a four-point play by the Huskers, pulled them back to 58-56.
Marcus Morris scored on a tip in to put KU back up 60-56 before Nebraska hit two free throws to pull within two points again. Marcus Morris made two free throws with :21 left in the game before the Huskers got back within 62-60 with just 11 seconds remaining.
That is when Reed was fouled in the backcourt. He made one of two free throws and Nebraska’s last shot was off the mark.
Kansas trailed for a large part of the game. In fact, KU trailed 38-28 three minutes into the second half before going on a 15-4 run to gain a 43-42 lead. KU would trail 45-43 but after a Marcus Morris layup and a three-point play by Thomas Robinson, the Jayhawks would not relinquish their lead.
In the first half the teams battled back and forth for the first 12 minutes. Kansas pulled ahead 19-18 on a Marcus Morris three-pointer with 8:49 left in the period. However, the Jayhawks would go four minutes without a basket as Nebraska went on a 10-1 run to gain a 28-20 lead.
KU cut the margin to 28-25 after a three-pointer by Tyrel Reed and a layup by Tyshawn Taylor before the visitors took a 30-25 lead at the break.
KU made only eight of 24 shots in the first half, while committing 10 turnovers. Meanwhile, Nebraska crashed the offensive boards hard getting nine offensive rebounds to KU’s eight defensive rebounds. In all, NU out-rebounded KU 24-12 in the first period.
Kansas finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field after making 57.7 percent in the second half. The Jayhawks limited Nebraska to just 36.1 percent shooting from the field. Nebraska out-rebounded the Jayhawks 43-32 and made 13 of 16 free throws to keep the game close.