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updated: 3/4/2013 9:00 PM

No. 4 Kansas beats Texas Tech 79-42

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Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Jeff Withey scored 22 points and every senior had a big night at their last home game, leading No. 4 Kansas past Texas Tech 79-42 at Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night.

Kevin Young had 14 points and Ben McLemore and Travis Releford added 13 apiece as the Jayhawks (26-4, 14-3 Big 12), who took a half-game lead over No. 9 Kansas State in their quest for a ninth straight conference title.

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Fueled by Young and Withey, Kansas unleashed a 19-2 run and seized a 45-20 halftime lead. Withey and McLemore combined to score the first 10 points in a 16-3 run to open the second half. Elijah Johnson had 12 assists for Kansas, giving him 22 in the last two games.

Jordan Tolbert had 16 points for Texas Tech (10-18, 3-14), which lost 60-46 at home to Kansas earlier this season.

The lopsided victory was the 30th straight for Kansas in its home finale and ensured the Jayhawks of at least 26 wins for the seventh consecutive season.

With one regular-season game left and then the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, the four seniors -- Withey, Young, Releford and Johnson -- have a combined 463 victories.

Withey had baskets on Kansas' first two possessions of the second half, then McLemore dropped in two free throws and another basket as the rout got worse and Texas Tech called a timeout in a futile try to stem the tide.

But Perry Ellis scored four quick points and Johnson dunked after Kansas stole the ball and the Jayhawks suddenly had a 61-23 lead.

Kansas scored on seven of its first nine possessions in the first half but then hit a lull and scored on only one of their next six while the Red Raiders -- 23-point underdogs -- crept within 13-10. Young, the most unheralded of the four seniors, triggered a 19-2 run that let the sellout crowd of 16,300 relax and enjoy one more easy home win by their beloved Jayhawks.

Taking a pass from Johnson, Young got the run going with a behind-the-back dunk, then got a putback on McLemore's miss and with, another assist from Johnson, slammed home another dunk on the next possession.

Johnson tossed to Withey for another slam, then the 7-footer made in two free throws and a few minutes later brought a thunderous roar from the crowd by pulling up just inches from the line and making a feathery 3-pointer for a 32-12 lead.

To the delight of the crowd, the Red Raiders had three players put up air balls in the first half -- Ty Nurse, Josh Gray and Jaye Crockett.

Texas Tech, losing to Kansas for the 24th time in 28 games, finished its conference road schedule 1-8 under first-year head coach Chris Walker.

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