KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ben McLemore scored 24 points to lead No. 7 Kansas to a 91-63 rout of Texas Tech on Thursday, setting up an intriguing date with Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.
The regular-season co-champion, Kansas was pushed by Texas Tech in their meeting in Lubbock earlier this season, but used a big run early in the second half to put this one away early.
The Jayhawks (27-5) shot 66 percent from the field (31 of 47), the best mark by any team in a Big 12 tournament game, in advancing to face the Cyclones on Friday night. Kansas needed overtime to beat them in both of their regular-season games.
Dejan Kravic scored 20 points, Dusty Hannahs added 15 and Jordan Tolbert had 13 for the Red Raiders, (11-20), who head into the offseason awaiting the fate of interim coach Chris Walker.
The longtime assistant took over in October, shortly after Billy Gillispie submitted a letter of resignation citing health concerns, and has been told he'll be a candidate for the job.
Anrio Adams had a career-high 11 points, mostly in mop-up duty, as the hot-shooting Jayhawks put on display for a partisan crowd at the Sprint Center that included new Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who was seated a few rows behind the Texas Tech bench.
Kansas was 9 of 18 from beyond the arc and 20 of 23 from the foul line.
The Jayhawks, wearing their special edition Zubaz-like, Adidas uniforms, took a 15-2 lead in the opening minutes, getting into transition and taking the ball right to the basket.
McLemore, their star freshman, hit a pair of 3-pointers after missing his first nine tries against the Red Raiders during the regular season. He also added a mid-range jumper, a soaring dunk in transition and a couple of free throws before Texas Tech could slow him down.
Just as quickly, the Red Raiders came storming back.
Kravic, whose buzzer-beating tip-in Wednesday night helped Texas Tech beat West Virginia, followed up a 3-pointer by Jamal Williams by scoring the Red Raiders' next nine points.
His jumper midway through the second half forced Kansas coach Bill Self, his face red with fury, to call a timeout and lay into a starting lineup that includes four seniors.
Kansas settled down over the final few minutes of the half and led 35-25 at the break.
Tolbert hit a couple free throws for Texas Tech to start the second half, but the Jayhawks ripped off an 18-4 run over the next five minutes that put the game away.
It started when McLemore got loose in the corner opposite the Kansas bench and, with a silky smooth stroke, poured in his third 3-pointer of the game. Young added a dunk, Withey scored inside and McLemore hit again from beyond the arc as Walker burned another timeout for Texas Tech.
Later in the run, Travis Releford got ahead on a fast break and converted a layup as he was clobbered from behind by the Red Raiders' Josh Gray. The officials ruled it a flagrant foul, and the senior from Kansas City made both of his free throws to give the Jayhawks a 52-31 lead.
The Jayhawks emptied their bench in the closing minutes, the game well in hand, giving their starters the luxury of looking ahead to at least one more game with the Cyclones.
In their first memorable game in Lawrence, Kansas needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by McLemore just to force overtime. In the return game in Ames, Elijah Johnson scored eight of his career-high 39 points in the final 29 seconds to again force overtime.
Kansas coasted to overtime victories each time.