Furphy Shines as Kansas Escapes Cincinnati

Federico Moreno | @f3demoreno


The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats 74-69 in their first battle as conference opponents Monday night inside Allen Fieldhouse. Freshman forward Johnny Furphy showed out, earning his first-career double-double scoring a career-high 23 points and snagging a career-high 11 boards.


Kansas came out on fire, building a 19-7 lead early in the first half. That lead would be the largest of the night, as the Bearcats clawed their way back into the game by taking a 35-34 lead with 1:14 left in the first half.


Senior guard Kevin McCullar took hit a free throw right before the end of the first half to tie the game at 35 a piece at halftime.


A Johnny Furphy three-pointer put Kansas ahead by double digits with just two minutes left.  The ball hit the back of the net just as the shot clock expired, and the roar of Allen Fieldhouse overpowered the buzzer.


Even though Kansas maintained a comfortable lead during the final two minutes, the Bearcats continued to fight, forcing multiple Jayhawk turnovers within that period. It wasn’t until the final five seconds that Cincinnati let Dajuan Harris dribble it out and call game.


Furphy replaced freshman Elmarko Jackson in the starting lineup last week in Stillwater, when Kansas rolled over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Since becoming a starter, he’s averaged 17 points, 8.3 rebounds, on nearly 53% from deep in three games.


When asked about what’s the best advice he has gotten since he arrived in Lawrence, Furphy shared some advice that can be applied to life beyond basketball.


“Don’t overthink, just relax. Don’t try and do too much. I know what I can bring to the team,” said Furphy. “It’s good I’ve been able to provide some energy with some extra possessions by rebounding.”


Kansas improves its record to 4-2 in league play and an overall 16-3. The Jayhawks will head up to Ames to take on No. 23 Iowa State on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 12:30 CT and will be televised nationally on CBS.