Kansas basketball: Jayhawks ride strong second half to escape Yale upset scare

Kansas basketball remains undefeated all-time against Ivy opponents after taking down the Yale Bulldogs
Yale v Kansas
Yale v Kansas / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

During this week's media session, Bill Self said that the team had taken notice of the multiple upsets around the world of college basketball. It seemed as though that Kansas would be added to that list in the first dozen minutes of the Jayhawks' tilt against Yale.

In the final contest before the players' short Christmas break next week, KU came out sluggish and unready to play. They turned the ball over six times in the first 15 minutes and trailed by as many as 11 in the first half. The Jayhawks are familiar with poor starts on their homecourt, such as the games against Missouri and Eastern Illinois — both of which they won.

Surprisingly, Kansas wasn't able to pull away too quickly and they were down with just under 12 minutes to go. Thankfully, Allen Fieldhouse worked its magic and helped rally the 'Hawks to a 10-1 run midway through the second half. Before the fans in the arena could blink, they led by 18 points and wound up defeating the Bulldogs 75-60.

Kevin McCullar was spectacular in the win, posting a career-high 34 points along with six rebounds, four assists, and four 3-pointers. He also shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. It was undoubtedly the best performance of the supersenior's collegiate career.

For the first time in his 12 games as a Jayhawk, Hunter Dickinson failed to reach double digits in the points department, finishing with eight and ten rebounds. KJ Adams also struggled to put the ball in the hoop, shooting 2-of-8 overall, while Dajuan Harris posted ten points, six assists, and four steals.

Perhaps the most encouraging showing of them all came from Nick Timberlake. The Towson transfer had been struggling mightily for most of the season leading up to this game, but the absence of Johnny Furphy allowed him to see extended minutes — 30, to be exact. He scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, connecting on 3-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc.

Today's outing was yet another unimpressive performance by Kansas basketball, yet they managed to win comfortably. The team clearly has its flaws, but they find ways to win every time. Next up is a neutral site game against Wichita State at the T-Mobile Center, where the Jayhawks will round out their nonconference slate.