BAYAMON, Puerto Rico – Senior center Hunter Dickinson scored 28 points as Kansas men’s basketball outlasted the Bahamian National Team, 92-87, Saturday in an exhibition game at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum.
A crowd of 4,813 saw Kansas Dickinson score 21 second-half points to lead Kansas over the Bahamian National Team. KU’s Arterio Morris made a layup on an Adams feed with 22 seconds remaining to end the scoring as the Bahamian team attempted some desperate threes in the waning seconds.
The Jayhawks led by as much as 14 points midway through the third quarter but the Bahamian team clawed back and cut the lead to two, 80-78, with 4:43 remaining. The Jayhawks then went on an 8-2 run on a KJ Adams Jr., lay-in, but once again could not keep its eight-point lead as the Bahamas squad went on a 7-2 run to make the score, 90-87, with 34 seconds left in the contest.
Adams ended the contest with 17 points, while graduate Kevin McCullar Jr. added 13 points and freshman Elmarko Jackson 12 points. Redshirt-junior Dajuan Harris Jr. led KU with nine assists, while Adams had six assists and McCullar five. Morris netted seven points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, while Dickinson added six rebounds. The Jayhawks outscored their opponent 62-36 in points in the paint.
The Bahamian National Team was led by Franco Miller Jr. who had 24 points. Former Oklahoma standout and current NBA star Buddy Hield had 18 points, all in the first half. Hield did not play in the second half of the contest.
“I thought that there were some really good things individually,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “Hunter and KJ passing to each other was great but Kevin has emerged as our best all-around player. He did a great job on Buddy and competed hard. We obviously didn’t finish the game well at all, but we haven’t really practiced those things.”
Unlike its first exhibition contest where Kansas led 25-7 after the first quarter, the Bahamian team led 22-20 at the end of the opening quarter in a contest that had six ties and seven lead changes. McCullar paced KU with 10 first-quarter points. Hield led all scorers in the period with 12.
In the second quarter Kansas started to pull away by scoring 10 of the first 12 points highlighted by three lay-in baskets from Jackson to make the score 30-24 with 5:50 before intermission. The Bahamian team fought back and tied the contest at 33 before Kansas went on a 9-0 run that included baskets from Dickinson, graduate guard Nicolas Timberlake and Morris. Hield made his third three of the game to end the halftime scoring with KU up 42-36. In all, the first half had nine ties and eight lead changes.
The Bahamian team opened the second half with a 7-2 run then Kansas turned to Dickinson who scored 10 of the Jayhawks’ next 16 points to give KU a 61-47 lead, its largest of the contest. The Bahamas team made 26 free throws with 20 coming in the second half. Kansas netted just 14 free throws for the contest.
Kansas will practice Sunday in preparation for its final exhibition game against the Bahamian National Team. The final game of the KU trip will be on Monday, August 7, at 11 a.m. CT also at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum.