- In the second top-five matchup of the week, the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks held off the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers through overtime to clinch the NIT Season Tip-Off championship in New York.
- Memphis transfer and AP preseason All-America team selection Dedric Lawson took over for Kansas in overtime, scoring eight of the Jayhawks’ 18 points in the final five minutes of play.
- Lawson soared for two Earth-shaking dunks in that stretch to send Kansas fans at the Barclays Center into a frenzy and seal the Jayhawks’ second win over a top-10 ranked opponent this season.
The second top-five college basketball matchup this week proved to be a thriller until the end, and it took the heroics of an AP preseason All-America team selection to get the job done in overtime.
Newly-minted Kansas Jayhawk Dedric Lawson erupted for 24 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists to lead the Jayhawks to a thrilling 87-81 overtime victory against Grant Williams and the Tennessee Volunteers.
Lawson – who transferred from Memphis to head coach Bill Self’s program alongside his brother this past offseason – poured in eight of his team’s 18 points during the overtime period. He also soared for two Earth-shaking dunks that sent Kansas fans at the Barclays Center into a frenzy and sealed the NIT Season Tip-Off championship for the Jayhawks.
“I wanted to dunk,” Lawson said postgame. “I was trying to get some movement and trying to seal the deal. I just wanted to score really.”
The Memphis, Tennessee native opened up scoring during overtime with a jump hook in the paint that was beautiful enough to impress his Hall of Fame head coach.
“The jump hook he made was a big time jump hook in the middle of the lane,” Self said. “I thought he played great.”
Later in the overtime period, Lagerald Vick – who contributed 15 points and a crucial 8-0 run late in the second half – delivered a perfect lob pass to Lawson, who rose above the rim and slammed it home to extend Kansas’ lead to five and shift the momentum firmly in the Jayhawks’ favour.
Another two minutes later, the elder Lawson once again stole the show. After his brother, K.J., stripped the ball from Tennessee’s Jordan Bowden, Lawson ran the length of the floor and Vick connected with him in stride. He took two steps through the lane and took off for the one-handed slam that ultimately secured Kansas’ second win over a top-10 ranked opponent on the season.
Rock Chalk! #2 Kansas takes down #5 Tennessee 87-81 in OT. Bill Self wins his 14th straight regular season game against a top 10 opponent. #NITTipOff
Dedric Lawson: 24 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST
— CollegeBB News (@CollegeBBNCAA) November 24, 2018
“In overtime, I just wanted to be aggressive,” Lawson said. “I came out and knew that the score was 0-0 and it was a new game. I wanted to win. I wanted to win very badly and I tried to do everything I could to seal the deal.”
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