Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Behind 22 points from Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji and a career-high 15 from super-senior Mitch Lightfoot, top-seeded Kansas (27-6) rolled past No. 5 seed TCU (20-12), 75-62, in the 2022 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship semifinals on Friday night at the T-Mobile Center.
With the win, Kansas advances to the Big 12 Tournament championship game for the 15th time. The Jayhawks are 11-3 in Big 12 title games, with the most recent championship coming in 2018. Kansas will face the winner of No. 3-seed Texas Tech and No. 7-seed Oklahoma in the championship game on Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m. CT.
The Jayhawks torched the nets in the first half, knocking down 17-of-27 field goal attempts for 63.0 percent shooting as KU built a 44-30 lead at the break. Ochai Agbaji led Kansas with 13 points as eight Jayhawks made a field goal in the opening half. KU trailed 4-0 in the early going, but took the lead for good on a Christian Braun three-pointer that made it 10-9 at the 15:18 mark. Braun’s three started an 11-0 Kansas run and the Jayhawks also had runs of 10-2 and 8-2, building a lead as high as 19 points at 44-25.
The second half was filled with highlights for the Jayhawks, who held a lead of at least eight points the entire half and only twice saw its lead dip into single digits. Kansas built its largest lead of the night at 22, 75-53, with 4:27 to play before TCU closed the game on a 9-0 run, holding the Jayhawks scoreless over that span.
As he’s done much of the season, Agbaji paced the Jayhawks, scoring 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field while also recording three rebounds and one blocked shot in 34 minutes of action. Lightfoot was 6-of-8 from the field and hit his first three-pointer of the season as he totaled a career-high 15 points to go along with five rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Remy Martin also got into double figures with 10 points off the bench.
Kansas shot 50 percent (30-of-60) from the field for the night and knocked down six three-pointers. The Jayhawks turned 18 TCU turnovers into 23 points and outscored the Horned Frogs 42-26 in the paint.
Kansas will meet the winner between the semifinal between Texas Tech and Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game on Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m. CT.