56 - 72 Final
  for this game

Kansas survives late push to down UCLA

Nov 23, 2011 - 7:04 AM Maui, HI (Sports Network) - Elijah Johnson scored a game-high 23 points, as No. 14 Kansas survived a late UCLA rally to earn a 72-56 victory in the Maui Invitational semifinals.

Thomas Robinson added 15 points and 10 boards, while Tyshawn Taylor finished with 13 points for the Jayhawks (3-1), who will face No. 6 Duke in Wednesday's championship game.

Tyler Lamb scored 15 points to pace UCLA (1-3), while Jerime Anderson added 14 points and Reeves Nelson chipped in 12 points off the bench.

"This is a very good Kansas team," said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. "They execute. Robinson's a very good player. Elijah Johnson really took it to us. He really played great today. And you have to give him credit. We had 11 turnovers in the first half. Second half we did a better job, only three turnovers. We got hurt on the glass."

The Jayhawks, who won the Maui Invitational in 1996, led by 20 in the second half before the Bruins rallied with a 12-0 run.

Lazeric Jones capped the burst, putting home a layup off a deft entry pass from Anderson to make it 51-43 with 11:44 left,

UCLA kept pursuing, and cut the deficit to five, 57-52, on Anderson's three- pointer with 8:08 remaining.

The Jayhawks, though, survived the burst and began to pull away. Travis Releford's layup made it a 66-56 game with 2:57 left and Johnson added a pull- up bucket off of a Lamb miss to decisively extend the Kansas lead in the closing minutes.

Kansas, which defeated previously unbeaten Georgetown on Monday to advance to the semis, jumped out to a 14-2 lead against the Bruins and didn't falter during a dominant first half.

Johnson was lively over the first 20 minutes of play, scoring 13 points on 4- of-7 shooting, including a 2-of-4 effort from beyond the arc.

Midway through the first, Lamb hit a trey to make it a 25-19 game, but the Jayhawks reeled off a 12-1 run, supplemented by 8-of-9 free throw shooting.

The Bruins' early struggles were punctuated by sloppy play, as they turned the ball over 11 times and trailed 43-26 at intermission.

Game Notes

UCLA leads the all-time series 10-7, but the Jayhawks have won each of the last three meetings...Kansas won the 1996 Maui Invitational by defeating LSU, California and Virginia.