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Furphy leads Jayhawks to win over Cincinnati on Big Monday

Cincinnati Kansas Basketball
Posted at 10:59 PM, Jan 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 23:59:50-05

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Johnny Furphy had career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds, Kevin McCullar Jr. scored 20 despite struggling with his shot, and seventh-ranked Kansas beat Cincinnati 74-69 on Monday night in the first Big 12 matchup between the schools.

KJ Adams Jr. added 11 points and Hunter Dickinson overcame foul trouble to score 10, helping the Jayhawks (16-3, 4-2) bounce back from a loss at West Virginia and extend their homecourt winning streak to 15 games.

The cold-shooting Bearcats (13-6, 2-4), wrapping up a stretch of six straight against ranked teams, got within 64-57 when Day Day Thomas ended their 6-plus minute field-goal drought with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play. But at the other end, Furphy hit a 3-pointer from the wing as the shot clock expired, and the Jayhawks were able to hang on from there.

Dan Skillings Jr. led Cincinnati with 16 points. Leading scorer Viktor Lakhin was held to seven on 1-for-6 shooting.

The Bearcats and Jayhawks were meeting for the first time since a top-five showdown in 1996, and they were playing at Allen Fieldhouse for the first time since 1967, when Kansas exacted a bit of revenge for a home loss five years earlier.

Like so many teams unaccustomed to the Phog, Cincinnati was rattled in the opening minutes. Kansas sprinted out to a 12-point lead and Bearcats coach Will Wade was forced to call timeout to keep the game from getting away them.

Cincinnati slowly drew even — and briefly took the lead — before going to halftime 35-all.

McCullar continued to struggle from the field, where he finished 5 for 17, and Dickinson had to sit long stretches after picking up his fourth foul with more than 10 minutes to go. But the Bearcats were bitterly cold from the 3-point arc, where Simas Lukosius was 0 for 6 and nobody else was a whole lot better, and that prevented them from taking control.

That came back to haunt Cincinnati when the Jayhawks pulled away in the closing minutes.


Kansas retired the No. 33 jersey of Bill “Skinny” Johnson during a halftime ceremony. He was an All-American in 1933 under coach Phog Allen, and led the Jayhawks to three consecutive conference titles. Johnson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, three years before his death.


Cincinnati plays UCF on Saturday night.