Kansas Pulls Away From Texas A&M, 79-66

For more, check out our Kansas blog, Rock Chalk Talk, and our A&M blog, I Am The 12th Man.

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Sherron Collins scored 26 points and dished out six assists, and top-ranked Kansas used a big run late in the second half to post a 79-66 victory over No. 23 Texas A&M in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Xavier Henry added 15 points, and Markieff Morris scored 10 for the Jayhawks (31-2), who will face either Kansas State or Baylor in Saturday's championship game.

Top-seeded Kansas, which is trying for its seventh Big 12 title, used great defense to shut down the Aggies in the second half, limiting them without a field goal over an eight-minute stretch.

The Jayhawks, who trailed by as many as nine in the second half, used a 21-2 spurt to take control. They've won their last four games since falling at Oklahoma State on February 27.

Donald Sloan had 24 points for the fourth-seeded Aggies (23-9), who had their four-game winning streak broken and will now wait for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Khris Middleton tallied 14 points and B.J. Holmes 12 for Texas A&M, which fell to 1-16 all-time against Kansas. The Aggies are 0-6 against top-ranked opponents.

Texas A&M led 38-35 at the break, and Middleton's three-pointer widened the lead to 47-38 nearly three minutes into the second half. The Aggies led 55-51 following a pair of Sloan free throws with 10 1/2 minutes to go.

Then came Kansas' huge rally, started with a three-pointer by Henry. Morris' layup gave the Jayhawks the lead, but Sloan interjected with a jumper with under nine minutes left. That would be A&M's last field goal until the final minute.

Morris tacked on a jumper, and Collins came up with a steal and layup to give Kansas a three-point edge. Henry then extended the cushion with a three- pointer from the left wing.

Aggies coach Mark Turgeon was visibly upset at Kansas' players on a couple of occasions, jawing at Collins with under seven minutes left. Texas A&M's Bryan Davis and Kansas' Morris where whistled for technical fouls with 6:41 remaining.

Henry's three-ball capped the burst with five minutes left for the dominating 72-57 cushion. Sloan and Naji Hibbert each hit shots in the final minute for the Aggies, but the game was already decided.

Kansas coach Bill Self captured win No. 200 as Jayhawks coach, joining Phog Allen, Ted Owens and Roy Williams to reach the milestone at the school. Self became the fastest coach in KU's history to reach the 200-win mark, doing it in 243 games. Williams won 200 at Kansas in 252 games...Sloan has played in 136 career games, moving past Josh Carter (2005-09) for the most in A&M history...The Aggies, who beat Nebraska on Thursday, played their second straight contest without sophomore guard Dash Harris, who is out with a right wrist injury.

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