Perry Ellis led the no. 1 Kansas Jayhawks to a 16 point victory over the no. 5 Maryland Terrapins as Kansas advances to the Elite Eight.
Maryland comes out firing
The Terrapins came out of the gates on fire with Melo Trimble sinking a three forty seconds into the game. They continued to build their lead in the beginning parts of the game. Robert Carter, Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman all contributed early in the half as the Terps built a six point advantage.
They were effective on the defensive end, contesting every Kansas shot and running down the other court to get open chances. Then Maryland started missing good looks, which allowed Bill Self’s boys to stay in this contest.
Kansas fought their way back. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk completed an and-one before Wayne Selden Jr. and Perry Ellis cut Maryland’s lead to one with 7:44 left in the half. Two minutes later, Devonte’ Graham’s free throws gave the Jayhawks their first advantage of the night.
The two schools would go toe-to-toe for the remaining seven minutes of the opening half. Robert Carter hit a nice jumper to extend the Terrapins lead to five. Graham continued to be clutch from the charity stripe early, hitting two more attempts from the line to regain the upper hand. Heading into the break, Kansas had only a two point edge.
Kansas blows game open
Once the second half commenced, the Jayhawks had taken complete control of the game. It looked as if they were getting anything and everything they wanted on the offensive end, while frustrating Maryland on both sides of the court.
Kansas steadily built their lead as they made sure to answer every Maryland run. But as they half reached the midway point, the Jayhawks were able to breathe a little easier as the team made their free throws. With 4:06 left to go, Frank Mason III drove to the hoop and finished the play off with a nice finish at the rim.
This was significant because that layup opened up a 16 point lead as time was starting to wind down. It was the dagger that eventually sank the hearts of the Maryland Terrapins who did not have enough talent to take down Kansas on this occasion.
Senior Perry Ellis ended the night as the leading scorer, finishing with 27 points. He was very selective with his attempts, going 10-17 from the field while draining all seven attempts from the line. The leader of the team stepped up when it mattered most and contributed in other facets of the game, but came away with five rebounds as well.
Wayne Selden Jr. had a quietly effective night, coming away as the second highest point getter with 19. He only made seven shots on the night, but two of those came from behind the arc. Selden got his teammates as well too, dishing out six assists, while coming away with a steal as well.
The Jayhawks will take on the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday for a spot with a spot in the Final Four on the line.