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Backups lead No. 6 Kansas past George Mason

Sportsnaut
Jan 1, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self watches play against the George Mason Patriots during the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self watches play against the George Mason Patriots during the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 20 points and Mitch Lightfoot added 14 to lead a 38-3 advantage in bench points as No. 6 Kansas toppled George Mason 76-67 Saturday at Lawrence, Kan.

Coleman-Lands, who played previously at Illinois, DePaul and Iowa State, enjoyed his top-scoring performance for the Jayhawks (11-1), going 7 of 9. Lightfoot equaled his career-high, making all seven of his shots.

Lightfoot, subbing for David McCormack, also gave Kansas a sturdy defender inside to hold the Patriots’ top scorer, Josh Oduro, to 12 points, five below his average.

Davonte Gaines posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Patriots (7-6), who played their first game in 11 days and had a three-game winning streak snapped.

The Jayhawks won their seventh in a row despite off nights from Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun, who each were 20-point scorers throughout December. Agbaji scored 11 points and Braun added 14, while going 7 of 26 collectively.

Each hit big buckets inside the final TV timeout, though. Braun canned a 3-pointer with 3:11 left to give Kansas a 69-61 lead. Agbaji converted a three-point play with 1:46 remaining, his first bucket of the second half, to make it 72-61. Braun also made four late free throws.

D’Shawn Schwartz scored 15 points and added five assists for George Mason.

Kansas closed the first half with five consecutive makes as part of a 12-5 flurry to go into the break with its largest lead through the first 20 minutes, 48-37.

Coleman-Lands led the Jayhawks with 11 points, going 4-for-5, including three treys, in 13 minutes to help Kansas forge a 23-0 advantage in first-half bench points.

Oduro scored the first five points for George Mason before going to the bench with his second foul before three minutes had elapsed. He re-entered after the final TV timeout and finished with seven first-half points. Gaines netted 12 to lead the Patriots at halftime.

George Mason kept the game close as the teams used five-guard lineups much of the half. Each club had six 3-pointers, though the Jayhawks gained separation behind threes from Agbaji and Coleman-Lands during the finishing stretch.

Kansas played without starter Remy Martin (knee).

–Field Level Media