Marcus Garrett made a driving layup with 21 seconds remaining Thursday to snap a tie as No. 13 Kansas overcame a sluggish start to rally from a 15-point deficit and edge UTEP 67-62 at Lawrence, Kan.
The Jayhawks (19-8) added the game to remain fresh after becoming the only Big 12 squad to complete its season on schedule. However, they came out flat after a win that knocked Baylor from the unbeaten ranks.
After trailing by 14 at halftime, Kansas gained its first lead, 62-60, with 2:39 remaining on a hook shot by David McCormack, who ignited a 16-5 spree and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The win for Kansas was its seventh in the last eight games.
The Jayhawks' comeback included 57.7 percent shooting in the second half and a team-high 19 points from Ochai Agbaji. Garrett added 11 points, five assists and four steals as the Kansas defense forced 14 turnovers including several during its second-half surge.
The rally ruined a monster performance by UTEP's Bryson Williams, who recorded 23 points and 13 rebounds. The double-double was the fifth of the season for Williams, who patrolled the paint but also slipped outside to can two 3-pointers.
The Miners (12-11) also received 16 points from Souley Boum, though the Conference-USA's third-leading scorer went just 5-for-16. UTEP shot just 32 percent in the second half and committed 10 turnovers after dominating early.
The Miners quickly seized on the opportunity to make a statement against a ranked blueblood, rolling to an 11-2 lead and grabbing its biggest margin of the first half, 34-20, at the break.
Williams posted 13 points and eight rebounds, while Boum added 11 points. The Miners scored on five of their last seven possessions as the Jayhawks looked flat the entire half.
Kansas started 1-for-11, including eight straight misses, and endured a stretch of almost seven minutes without a field goal while falling behind early. Their 27.6 percent shooting included just one player, Agbaji, who found much rhythm as he scored 10 first-half points.
McCormack, who entered as the most accurate shooter (51.3 percent) in the Big 12, went just 1-for-6.
--Field Level Media