Dedric Lawson posted a double-double with 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Lagerald Vick added 29 points Saturday as No. 1 Kansas nipped No. 17 Villanova 74-71 in Lawrence, Kan.
The win was the 39th in a row in Allen Fieldhouse when the Jayhawks are the nation’s top-ranked team, including a 21-0 mark under Bill Self, who is in his 16th season as the Kansas coach.
Devon Dotson added 11 points for Kansas in a rematch of last year’s Final Four clash claimed by Villanova.
No other player scored more than two points for Kansas (9-0), which entered as one of nine remaining unbeaten teams in the country.
Lawson, who recorded his sixth double-double, and Vick, who went 9 of 15, scored all but one of the second-half field goals for the Jayhawks. Kansas sealed the outcome by making 11 of 12 free throws over the final 70 seconds to win for the third time this season over a ranked opponent.
The stubborn Wildcats (8-4) dropped their second straight but hounded the Jayhawks defensively and never backed down behind 29 points from Phil Booth. Booth scored seven points in the final minute to keep Villanova within striking distance.
Eric Paschall added 17 points and Collin Gillespie had 15.
Gillespie scored eight of his nine first-half points in the final 1:19, helping Villanova overcome a scoring drought of 6 minutes, 31 seconds. The Wildcats bounced back from a nine-point deficit to forge a 31-31 tie on a Gillespie drive with 6 seconds left.
Paschall also scored nine first-half points for Villanova.
Two free throws by Charlie Moore with 1.5 seconds left gave Kansas a 33-31 halftime edge. Lawson led the Jayhawks with 14 first-half points, going 5-for-7. Vick added 10.
The matchup marked the third time in the 63-year history of Allen Fieldhouse that Kansas hosted the reigning NCAA champion. It lost to Cincinnati in 1962 and beat UCLA in 1995.
—Field Level Media