Kansas basketball: UCF surmounts 16-point deficit to upset No. 2 ranked Jayhawks

Kansas became the last of each top-3 ranked team to fall on the road in the past two days

Jan 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights guard Jaylin Sellers (24) goes to the basket in a Big 12 Conference game against the Kansas Jayhawks
Jan 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights guard Jaylin Sellers (24) goes to the basket in a Big 12 Conference game against the Kansas Jayhawks / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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After a strong start to the game which featured a 16-point lead early on, Kansas basketball had one of its ugliest halves of the season and fell to the UCF Knights 65-60 on the road.

It was among the ugliest showings Bill Self and Co. had in the 2023-24 campaign. They had a 37-29 lead after the first 20 minutes, but the Knights went ahead less than seven minutes into the second half.

There were a few lead changes before UCF started to pull away down the stretch. Dajuan Harris missed the second free throw of a 1-of-1 which would have put KU ahead, and following a couple of misses and a turnover by Hunter Dickinson, the game was out of reach.

Dickinson's struggles were a primary factor in the loss. He scored just 12 points and put up nine shots, constantly being blanketed by the 3-2 zone Johnny Dawkins put into effect in the second half. His four rebounds were a season-low — he didn't have a game under eight before today.

Kevin McCullar led the 'Hawks in scoring with 16, grabbing six rebounds and assisting five buckets but also turning it over five times. KJ Adams had 10 and seven rebounds, while Dajuan Harris had five points and shot 2-for-8. Johnny Furphy played well, scoring nine in 17 minutes.

Jaylin Sellers led the Knights in scoring with 18 points, while Darius Johnson had 17 points and six assists. The team connected on 7-of-20 3-point attempts and shot 14-for-18 from the charity stripe.

Kansas outshot UCF by nearly 10 percentage points, but the team's 18 turnovers plagued them down the stretch. Being careless with the ball is nothing new with this Jayhawk team that averages 12.9 giveaways per game.

Self must prepare his team quickly when they host No. 9 Oklahoma this Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The Sooners lost to TCU today, a team Kansas struggled vastly with in the Big 12 opener.

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