Kansas comes back with big second half, holds on 64-62 against Ohio State

Kansas comes back with big second half, holds on 64-62 against Ohio State

Credit: Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31: Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks the ball against Aaron Craft #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)



Posted on March 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

NEW ORLEANS — Kansas has spent the entire NCAA tournament starting slowly.

But it’s how they’ve finished that has mattered most.

The Jayhawks outscored Ohio State by 11 in the second half, winning their national semifinal matchup 64-62.

Kansas will play Kentucky on  Monday night in the national title game.

Ohio State had a chance to tie at the end, but blew both chances.

First, after Jeff Withey traveled with 27 seconds to lay, the Buckeyes panicked, tossing up two errant 3-pointers before Williams Buford dunked a rebound.

After two Tyshawn Taylor free throws gave Kansas a 64-61 lead with 8 seconds to play, the Jayhawks nearly came up with the game-clinching steal.

But Taylor, after stealing the ball, turned it over himself, giving Ohio State one last gasp.

Aaron Craft hit his first free throw and then on his second, hit the rim for what appeared to be a game-tying rebound with 2.9 to play.

However, he was called for entering the free-throw lane too soon. Kansas inbounded the basketball and secured the win.

The Jayhawks have outscored opponents by 42 points in the second half during the tournament. They’re minus-six in the first halves, however.

Thomas Robinson led Kansas (31-6) with 19 points and eight rebounds, Travis Releford had 15 points and six rebounds, Elijah Johnson added 13 and 10 boards and Taylor finished with 10 points and nine assists.

Buford led Ohio State (31-7) with 19 points, Jared Sullinger had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Craft had 11 points and Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 10 points.