KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — Washington of the Pac-12 Conference became the third team in two seasons to defeat the Jayhawks in their Sprint Center home-away-from-home, knocking off No. 2-ranked KU 74-65 on Wednesday night. The KU loss came just a day after KU coach Self’s daughter, Lauren, gave birth to 7-pound, 11 ounce, 21 1/4 inch Ella Jane Browning.
“Everybody’s doing great,” coach Self reported of baby and mom during his pregame interview on the Jayhawk radio network. “I get a chance to meet her tomorrow. I’m excited about that,” he added.
Happy for his own family, Self will assuredly be down in the dumps watching game film of another Sprint Center loss (KU fell to Oregon and TCU in KC last season) on Thursday — the team’s off day — on his flight to the Dallas area to see his baby granddaughter, as well as his daughter and son-in-law Hayden Browning.
Highlights, or make that lowlights, on tape for viewing will be a low-scoring, foul-plagued performance against Washington’s 2-3 zone defense.
KU (7-1), which had five players commit two fouls the first half — the Jayhawks trailed 36-34 at the break and by 14 with 2:11 left — lost despite the career-high 28-point performance of Lagerald Vick, who scored at will in the middle of the zone.
Vick, KU’s junior guard from Memphis, hit 12 of 23 shots and was 0 of 2 from three on a night KU hit 45 percent of its shots and just 5 of 20 three-pointers. Also for KU, Udoka Azubuike had 10 points and nine boards. Devonté Graham, who had 35 points in each of the last two games, finished with just three points on 1-of-8 shooting. He was 1 of 5 from three. Svi Mykhailiuk missed six of eight threes and was 3 of 12 shooting for eight points. KU had 13 turnovers.
KU lagged by eight points at 52-44 with 13 minutes left, but cut the gap to 53-52 thanks to four points from Vick and two from Azubuike. However, Washington (7-2) kept its poise and rebuilt the lead to 64-54 at 5:27 and 73-59 at 2:12.
Washington was led by Matisse Thybulle (19 points, 5 of 8 threes), Jaylen Nowell (17 points, 7-of-16 shooting) and Noah Dickerson, who had 13 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
Washington hit 48.3 percent of its shots and was 9 of 21 from three.
The Jayhawks, on Wednesday, for the second straight game tried to penetrate a pesky 2-3 zone. KU followed its 76-60 victory over Syracuse and Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone Saturday with a loss against Mike Hopkins’ Washington version of the 2-3. Hopkins, a Syracuse grad, worked for Boeheim the last 22 years at the former Big East/current ACC school.
The Jayhawks struggled the first half in hitting 46.7 percent of their shots, while missing 7 of 9 threes. Five players picked up two fouls apiece in the half, including Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot, who played seven and five minutes respectively in the half. Graham had three points the first half on 1-of-5 shooting. He was 1 of 3 from three.
Vick scored 12 points the first half on 4-of-11 shooting. He was 0 of 2 from three and hit 4 of 5 free throws, KU’s only free throws of the half attained against the zone.
Noah Dickerson had eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists in 15 minutes the first half for Washington. Jaylen Nowell had 10 points and Matisse Thybulle nine as Washington hit 43.8 percent of its first-half shots and 4 of 11 threes. KU hit 4 of 8 free throws for the game to Washington’s 7 of 15.
KU will next meet Arizona State at 1 p.m. Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.