Senior G Frank Mason drilled the game-winning shot for KU as the Jayhawks knocked off #1 Duke by a score of 77-75 in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Mason led KU with 21 points, and freshman G Josh Jackson bounced back from his first game jitters to put in 15 points before fouling out.
Jackson looked much more comfortable in his second game with KU, taking control of the contest in the second half by scoring seven straight points during one stretch of play. Jackson was visibly distraught after fouling out, but he remained on the bench to cheer on his teammates.
The first half was defined by fouls, as both teams got into foul trouble early on.
The Jayhawks found themselves down at halftime 34-29 before exploding to open the second half. Duke battled back and tied the game with under 20 seconds left on a 3-pointer by freshman G Frank Jackson, but it was just barely too little too late.
Sophomore G Luke Kennard led the Blue Devils with 22 points. Junior G Grayson Allen struggled for most of the game, finishing with 12 points on 4-15 shooting. Allen was just 1-7 from behind the arc.
The Jayhawks shot a putrid 2-17 from three-point-land, but both teams shot effectively from the field. Kansas also struggled to make free throws throughout the game, as they finished just 9-19 from the charity stripe.
The Jayhawks outrebounded Duke 38-29, and freshman F Udoka Azubuike led both teams with 12 rebounds. Azubuike came off the bench in relief of senior F Landen Lucas and established himself as a force inside. The two freshmen, Azubuike and Jackson, both played vital roles in KU’s victory.
However, for the second straight game, Frank Mason carried the team late in the game, making critical plays in the closing minutes.
KU will return to Lawrence for its home opener against Siena at Allen Fieldhouse on Friday night.