No. 9 Jayhawks hold off TCU 64-59 in Big 12 tourney

Kelly Oubre Jr., Shaquille Cleare
Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) looks for help while covered by Texas forward Shaquille Cleare (32) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Conference tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 12, 2015. Kansas defeated TCU 64-59. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a career-high 25 points, Landen Lucas added 13 and ninth-ranked Kansas beat pesky TCU 64-59 on Thursday in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.

Playing without leading scorer Perry Ellis due to a knee injury, the top-seeded Jayhawks (25-7) had to sweat out all 40 minutes against the No. 9 seed Horned Frogs. It wasn’t until Oubre got loose for a jam with a minute left that Kansas got some breathing room.

Trey Zeigler turned the ball over at the other end for TCU (18-15), and Kansas was able to run down the shot clock before Frank Mason III found Lucas for an alley-oop jam and a 63-57 lead with 30 seconds left. The Jayhawks were able to hold on the rest of the way.

Kansas advanced to play No. 16 Baylor in the semifinals Friday night. The fourth-seeded Bears pulled away late to beat No. 18 West Virginia 80-70 in an earlier quarterfinal.

Oubre finished 15 of 19 from the foul line. He also had six rebounds.

Zeigler finished with 20 points for TCU (18-15), which now must wait to see whether it has done enough to qualify for one of the lower-tier postseason tournaments. The Horned Frogs have missed out the past two years, their last appearance coming in the CBI in 2012.

Kansas coach Bill Self was hopeful that Ellis would return from a sprained knee, but the junior forward was still feeling sore after practice Wednesday. Ellis wound up spending the game in a sweatsuit on the sideline, and his availability for Baylor was still in doubt.

The Jayhawks also played again without freshman forward Cliff Alexander, who has been sitting out while the NCAA investigates concerns that his family received improper benefits.

The Horned Frogs played most of the way without leading scorer Kyan Anderson, who picked up his fourth foul with 15:58 left in the game. Anderson sat for nearly 10 minutes before returning to the game, then picked up his fifth foul about 30 feet from the basket.

At that point, the outcome of the game was still very much in question.

The teams were tied 51-all after Brandon Parrish made a pair of free throws for TCU with 6:42 left in the game. But Oubre drove to the basket and was fouled on four consecutive trips down the floor, making enough of his free throws to give Kansas a bit of a cushion.

The Jayhawks held on the rest of the way, improving to 10-1 against TCU. They also improved to 25-5 in the Sprint Center, just a short drive from their campus in Lawrence.

TIP-INS

TCU: The Horned Frogs were done in by 15 turnovers. Zeigler had eight of them. … Anderson finished with three points. … TCU dropped to 1-12 when tied or trailing at the half.

Kansas: Lucas finished 6 for 7 from the field. He also had seven boards. … Kansas overcame 17 turnovers in part by blocking nine shots. … Kansas has won at least 25 games 10 straight years. … The Jayhawks improved to 5-1 in neutral-site games this season.

UP NEXT

TCU is left to wait for a call from one of the postseason tournaments.

Kansas won a pair of close games against Baylor in the regular season.

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