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No. 4 Kansas tops Texas A&M

Feb 23, 2012 - 7:47 AM College Station, TX (Sports Network) - Elijah Johnson scored a team-high 21 points to lead No. 4 Kansas past Texas A&M, 66-58, in the final Big 12 clash between the two schools.

Tyshawn Taylor added 12 points, Jeff Withey contributed 11 and Thomas Robinson had 10 with 13 rebounds for Kansas (23-5, 13-2 Big 12), which earned its fifth straight win.

"He was huge. He got us off to a good start and shot the ball well," Taylor said about Johnson. "We had kind of been waiting for him to get going."

Khris Middleton netted a game-high 23 points for the Aggies (13-14, 4-11), who are leaving the Big 12 to join the Southeastern Conference next season. David Loubeau and Elston Turner each dropped in 10 points in Texas A&M's sixth loss in seven games.

Kansas held a 31-21 advantage at the break and opened the second half with a 16-5 swing to take its largest lead of the contest, 47-26, on Robinson's three-point play with 13:25 left in the game.

The Aggies, though, would not go quietly, battling back with a 30-13 run over the next 11-plus minutes to close the gap to four, 60-56, with just under two minutes remaining.

Middleton had 11 points and Dash Harris had six in the run, which Harris capped with a shot from beyond the arc.

But Texas A&M would get no closer as the Jayhawks made enough free throws down the stretch and Zach Kinsley's three-pointer that would have brought the Aggies within one with less than 30 seconds left in the game was no good.

Withey grabbed the rebound and sank both foul shots to seal the victory for Kansas.

"You can't give Kansas a 20-point lead on your home court and expect to play perfectly and win the game," Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. "The only thing I can say is we didn't throw in the towel. We had some opportunities."

Johnson netted the game's first five points in a 7-2 run by Kansas to take the early lead, but the Aggies responded with six straight points to take an 8-7 advantage.

The lead changed hands fives times over the next four minutes, with the last exchange starting a 12-0 spurt by the Jayhawks to give them a 25-14 lead with a little over eight minutes left in the half.

Middleton put an end to the run with a three-pointer, but Kansas outscored the Aggies by a mark of 16-4 for the remainder of the half and held a 31-21 advantage at the break.

Texas A&M shot just 29 percent from the floor through the first 20 minutes and Kansas didn't fare much better, shooting 38.7 percent while going 3-for-13 from three-point range.

Game Notes

Kansas has won the last eight meetings between the teams and holds a 19-1 lead in the all-time series, including an 18-1 mark advantage since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97...Harris finished the game with eight points for the Aggies...Kansas went 4-for-18 from beyond the arc, while Texas A&M connected on 6-of-18 three-pointers.