LAWRENCE, Kan. — Every shot Kansas put up seemed to clank off the rim. Every one that San Diego State missed seemed to end up back in its hands, there for an easy layup or wide open dunk.
You would have thought it was the Jayhawks who were playing on the road.
Instead, the 21st-ranked Aztecs persevered down the stretch behind 16 points from Xavier Thames, whose four free throws in the closing seconds Sunday sealed a 61-57 victory over No. 16 Kansas, ending the Jayhawks’ 68-game non-conference winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse.
“The way I see it, we got exactly what we deserved. They were better than us,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, who had more Big 12 titles (nine straight) on his resume coming into the game than he had losses (eight overall) at the Jayhawks’ venerable on-campus arena.
“This is a hard place to win,” Self said. “They made us play poorly.”
Still, Kansas (9-4) had a chance to tie the game when Perry Ellis went to the free throw line with 11.9 seconds left. He made his first free throw but, after San Diego State (12-1) called time out to ice him, Ellis missed the second and the Jayhawks were forced to foul.
Thames made both free throws to give San Diego State a three-point lead, and the Aztecs fouled rather than allow Kansas to attempt a tying 3. Frank Mason missed the first and made the second, and Thames made two more free throws with 4.6 seconds left to seal the win.
“We all missed shots we usually make,” said freshman Andrew Wiggins, who had 14 points for the Jayhawks, “and that’s going to happen from time to time with a young team.”
Mason also finished with 14 points, and Joel Embiid had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Kansas, which had won 112 of its last 114 games at Allen Fieldhouse.