• Key play: KU’s Jeff Withey hit a tough shot in the lane with 43 seconds left, stretching the halftime lead to 33-27.
• Key stat: KU had seven turnovers, allowing Temple to hang around.
• Key play: Ben McLemore had a steal and dunk that put Kansas ahead 58-57 with 2:42 left in the game.
• Key stat: McLemore’s steal was the Jayhawks’ only steal of the day.
Releford rallies late
For what felt like the first time all season, Kansas was forced to play without one of its core players for a long stretch in the second half. Senior guard Travis Releford picked up his fourth foul with more than 15 minutes remaining, and he didn’t return until after the 7-minute mark.
Sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe was forced to log 19 minutes, and KU coach Bill Self also played freshman Andrew White III for three minutes to spell Ben McLemore (38 minutes) and Elijah Johnson (37 minutes).
“It’s tough,” Releford said. “I don’t do it often. So I just knew I had to stay focused, and once I got in there, not try to do too much. And not get another foul.”
Self said he had gotten on Releford at halftime for some sloppy play.
And when Releford returned, the Jayhawks trailed 54-50. They finished the game on a 19-8 run, with Releford knocking down a three with 37 seconds left.
“He got into me,” Releford said. “I can’t really relay the message … But he just let me know that I needed to change it.”
• KU freshman guard Ben McLemore made some key plays, but he never seemed to find his rhythm on offense. He finished with 13 points on five-of-12 shooting while adding five rebounds.
“Ben was never plugged in offensively the whole game, it seemed like,” Self said. “And that wasn’t his fault. That’s our fault. We did a bad job plugging him in. But we never had any rhythm offensively.”
KU senior Kevin Young, who finished a perfect six-of-six from the free throw line, entered the game shooting just 56 percent from the foul line. Young also added his first double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
KU has now won 30 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse. When coupled with its previous 69-game winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse from 2007-11, KU has won 99 out of 100 in Lawrence.
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com.