Via Kansas Athletics
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico – Redshirt junior guard Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 23 points as the Kansas men’s basketball team lost to the Bahamian National Team, 87-81, Monday afternoon in an exhibition game at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum.
A crowd of 3,422 saw Kansas pull within one at 81-80 on a Harris putback with 2:30 remaining in the game. The Bahamian Team then scored five-straight points that included a three point field goal with just under a minute remaining to keep a cushion. The loss ended a 35-game exhibition winning streak for Kansas dating back to 2012. KU is now 94-10 all-time in exhibition play.
Harris shot 10-for-14 from the field, including three three pointers, along with a game-high five steals. Graduate guard Kevin McCullar Jr. had 19 points and a team-high seven assists, while senior center Hunter Dickinson just missed a double-double with 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Graduate Nicolas Timberlake scored 13 points for KU that included three threes.
The Bahamian National Team is made of professional and college players as it is prepping for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup. Included are current NBA standouts Buddy Hield and Eric Gordon. Hield led his team with 19 points, while Gordon scored 12.
“It was good for us,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said of playing a competitive game against quality competition. “We could play better, but I actually thought we did some good things. We didn’t execute down the stretch on both ends of the ball. We couldn’t get the ball to go through the basket and missed all of our free throws. They doubled Hunter in the post, went under everything, but all that being said there were some good offensive possessions.”
With the score 8-6, Harris drained a three from the left side and had a steal and lay-in on the next possession. Harris ended the quarter with seven points. It was a quarter of runs as KU led 17-9 before the Bahamian team scored six-straight points. KU responded with seven straight that included a McCullar dunk, a three by Timberlake and a pair of Elmarko Jackson free throws. Jackson ended the contest with seven points and five assists. KU led 24-17 after the first quarter.
The Bahamian National Team came out strong in the second quarter, outscoring KU 16-4 to take its first lead of the game at 30-29 with 5:30 to go in the half. Harris would score Kansas’ final seven points of the half that included two fast break lay-ins and his second three pointer of the contest. The Bahamian team led 46-40 at the half.
Kansas opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run and tied the game at 54-54 on a Dickinson baseline jumper. The remainder of the game had two ties and five lead changes as neither team led by more than six.
Next up for Kansas basketball is the 39th annual Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 6. Late Night started in 1985 and features music by the KU pep band, routines from KU’s spirit squad and dance teams, crowd-engaging activities by both men’s and women’s basketball teams, video highlights from KU’s award-winning Rock Chalk Video department, coach and player introductions, scrimmages and much more.
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