Agbagi scored 18 points and Kansas No. 4 leads North Texas 71-59
Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Uchai Agbaji scored 18 points and Christian Brown added 16 as fourth-seeded Kansas beat North Texas 71-59 in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday.
Agbaji became the 63rd player to reach 1,000 points in Kansas history when he scored 3 to open the scoring 2½ minutes into the game. The goalkeeper entered the game just one point away from that achievement.
Kansas is looking to win its seventh consecutive championship.
“These events are significant,” Kansas guard Remy Martin said. “We want to come home with the championship, eventually. That actually motivates you, the desire to win, the desire to win the championship.”
North Texas (2-2) got 23 points from Taylor Perry. All of Mean Green’s other scorers were kept in single digits, including Thomas Bell, who made his fifth foul midway through the second half and finished with nine points.
“Give Kansas all the credit, they’ve been more aggressive than we were,” North Texas coach Grant McCasland said. “They attacked the basket better. I am proud of the way we responded after being stopped early in the game. I found a way to get that back and give ourselves a chance.”
North Texas got 35-27 in the half after trailing 13.
KU (4-0) went up 46-31 early in the second half thanks to Martin’s pair of long-range shots and Brown, who made 3 points after stealing. Martin, who has 15 points, has recently slowed down with a sore back.
“I’m fine,” Martin said. “We’re doing a lot of great therapy. I’m just there constantly trying to get a little better.”
An inundation by Agbaji and Martin 3 last extended the advantage to 53-35 14 minutes before the end of the match.
Kansas striker Galen Wilson scored seven points in 18 minutes in his first game of the season. He was suspended for the first three games of the regular season after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
“I thought he was pretty good,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “That’s probably the least he’s played all year. He should be there. We’re better in attack when he’s in the game. Galen Wilson will figure out a way to make us better.”
the long term
North Texas went 4 for 27 on her 3-point attempts, while Kansas made 6 of 14.
The Big Picture
Kansas: He scored 87 or more points in each of his first three games but scored 2½ and 3 minute dry spells during the first half, and two and a half minutes into the second.
North Texas: It brought back only six players from the 2020-21 squad that won the school’s fourth championship trip and first-ever championship win with a 78-69 overtime win over Purdue.
KS: Dayton plays in the Friday semifinals. The Flyers beat Miami 76-60 on Thursday.
North Texas: Faces Miami on Friday in the funeral tour.
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