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Kansas blows past Texas for Big 12 title

Mar 8, 2009 - 1:27 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Sherron Collins scored 21 points and Cole Aldrich added 12 and 10 rebounds as ninth-ranked Kansas used a strong second half to secure the Big 12 Conference regular-season crown with an 83-73 victory over Texas on Saturday.

Freshman Tyshawn Taylor chipped in 11 points for the Jayhawks (24-7, 14-2 Big 12), who have won at least a share of the conference title for five straight seasons.

"I do think, not only to win the league, but to win it outright and match our team from a couple years ago with the 14-2 record speaks volumes for these guys and shows their maturity," said Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team lost all five starters from a season ago. "I told our guys after the game that they had a good year, but that they still have to play really well from this point forward."

Kansas scored the final seven points of the first half to cut the deficit to 44-37 at the intermission and the Jayhawks continued to chip away early after the break.

The Jayhawks finally went in front as freshman Markieff Morris's dunk capped a 6-0 spurt to give Kansas a 62-61 lead with 9:09 to play.

Brady Morningstar made a 3-pointer from the right corner and Taylor followed with a dunk to put the Jayhawks in front, 78-71, with 3:06 remaining. Collins convertded 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

"I never feel like we are going to lose when we are down, because I know that we have all of the tools to come back," Taylor said. "I knew that if guys stepped up like I knew they could then we would be fine."

Damion James scored 26 points to pace the Longhorns (20-10, 9-7), who lost their third straight road game.

"We knew that (Kansas) was going to make a run," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "They are a good basketball team. All I wanted to do was to be in the position we were in with four minutes to go. But we could have been in a better position if we had made some shots."