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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 PM GMT9:00 PM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Feb 23, 2019
United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, Texas  Attendance: 15,098

No. 12 Kansas, No. 14 Texas Tech rested for showdown

No. 12 Kansas has looked more spirited and cohesive of late, winning three straight games to remain in the thick of the Big 12 race.

The Jayhawks, after a week-long layoff, will be back in action Saturday when it faces No. 14 Texas Tech in a big conference game in Lubbock, Texas.

The teams are tied for second place in the Big 12, one game behind Kansas State.

While some might have viewed the layoff as an unwelcome pause in momentum, Kansas coach Bill Self did not have to evaluate anything more than the condition of his top player, junior forward Dedric Lawson, to realize the off week was beneficial.

"It's a good time because I think Dedric's tired and getting him some days I think would be good," Self said.

Lawson, a transfer from Memphis, leads the Jayhawks in scoring (19.2 points per game) and rebounding (10.3).

Additional time off also provided sophomore guard Marcus Garrett more recovery from an ankle injury that has kept the Jayhawks' top defender out of the last five games. Self said Thursday that Garrett likely would be a game-time decision.

Still, there are questions as to whether Kansas can maintain its new-found rhythm, which developed without Garrett, senior guard Lagerald Vick (indefinite absence, personal reasons), junior center Udoka Azubuike (wrist injury, out for season) and sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa (ineligible).

"I just think it's all come together," Lawson said.

"Guys (are) playing more with a free mind, just playing not to lose but to win -- just going out there and having fun, guys enjoying guys and carrying it over from practice. It carries over. I think that's been real big."

Kansas (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) can extend its string of 10-win seasons in conference play to 25 by beating Texas Tech, although the extension of a 14-year streak of Big 12 championships is a more important priority.

Big 12 positioning can be gained or surrendered depending on the outcome. The Red Raiders (21-5, 9-4) already split their season series with Kansas State; the Jayhawks will play host to Kansas State on Monday after falling to the Wildcats on Feb. 5 in Manhattan.

Texas Tech has won four straight and also is coming off a week-long break. The Red Raiders are 14-1 this season in United Supermarkets Arena.

The Jayhawks thumped the Red Raiders 79-63 on Feb. 2 in Lawrence behind double-doubles from Lawson and freshman guard Ochai Agbaji.

"It's up to us to get off to a good start," Texas Tech senior guard Matt Mooney told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "We didn't do that (on Feb. 2). They embarrassed us."

Stingy defense has been the Red Raiders' trademark. They have limited opponents to 36.1 percent shooting and 57.2 points per game, both marks ranking as tops in the Big 12. During the four-game winning streak, Texas Tech has averaged a 24-point margin of victory.

"It's an accurate statement to say Texas Tech is a part of the fight right now with a few weeks left," Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said. "We're in contention for the conference championship and that's our goal."

Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver leads Texas Tech in scoring (17.7), rebounding (6.3) and assists (3.7).

--Field Level Media

Updated February 22, 2019

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