LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -The noise in Allen Fieldhouse saved some Kansas players a little embarrassment Saturday night.
Nobody could overhear coach Bill Self chewing them out.
Whatever Self told them, it worked. Trailing Nebraska by four points in the opening minutes of the second half, the No. 1 ranked Jayhawks took their coach's words to heart and went on a 16-1 tear, finishing with a 75-64 victory for their 55th in a row at home.
``He knows how to get you going,' senior guard Sherron Collins said with a grin. ``He challenged us and we responded. It wasn't no milk and cookies.'
Collins was the first to act, hitting a quick 3-pointer that sliced Nebraska's surprising lead to one point. Cole Aldrich contributed six points in the next few minutes and the Jayhawks (22-1, 8-0 Big 12) soon found themselves with a comfortable 19-point edge while sweeping the Huskers for the sixth year in a row.
``Him jumping on us was something we needed,' said Collins. ``He's a good motivator and that's what he did. He motivated us.'
Jorge Brian Diaz scored four points in the 10-2 run and wound up with 20 for the Huskers (13-10, 1-7).
``The key plays that had to be made in the ballgame, Kansas made them,' said Nebraska coach Doc Sadler. ``That's why they're where they're at and that's why we're where we're at.'
It was the third grind-it-out game in a row for the Jayhawks, who were coming off back-to-back overtime scares on the road.
``We played for 10 or 8 minutes about as well as we've played at any point in time there in the second half,' said Self. ``We turned it up and they didn't get comfortable. We got a couple of easy baskets and then we made some shots. But yeah, I'd say our defense was the best during that stretch.'
Marcus Morris had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Collins had 17 for Kansas, which has only one day to rest before heading for a Monday night clash at No. 9 Texas.
``That's what we talked about in the locker room afterwards,' said Self. ``I don't want to take anything away from Nebraska, but it was one of those games, `Let's get through this game so we can get to that game.' I think we'll go down there really excited to play.'
The Jayhawks have opened a three-game lead over Texas and No. 10 Kansas State in the Big 12 and could be poised for their sixth straight title.
Marcus Morris will likely draw Texas' Damion James on Monday night.
``He and (Iowa State's) Craig Brackins are the two top guys that I enjoy guarding,' he said. ``I'm just going to go out and give him my best shot.'
The Kansas lead reached its peak when Collins' three-point play made it 67-48. Then back-to-back 3-pointers by Lance Jeter and Ryan Anderson kept the game from getting entirely out of hand.
Aldrich had eight points and six rebounds and failed to get a double-double for the first time in five games. But the 6-foot-11 junior was dominant when it counted. He muscled inside for a one-handed dunk and drew a third foul from Nebraska's Quincy Hankins-Cole and sank the free throw for a 48-44 lead. A moment later, he rebounded a Nebraska miss and the raucous sellout crowd roared when Markieff Morris converted on the other end.
``We wanted to win. We didn't come here to just play,' Diaz said. ``We needed a win and we wanted to win. I don't know. Things happen. We didn't execute like we were supposed to at the end. They kind of got in a rhythm but we knew we had to keep playing to stop them.'
Self was called for a technical foul in the final seconds of the first half and Brandon Richardson made one of the free throws to cut the Jayhawks' halftime lead to 37-33. That was the only point of the day for Richardson, who fouled out with 9:55 to go after leading the Huskers in scoring the previous 13 games and putting in 18 against the Jayhawks last month.
The Associated Press News Service
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