Perimeter Shooting Powers Kansas Past Kentucky, 88-76, into Sweet 16
March 18, 2007
CHICAGO, Ill. –
The <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>University of Kansas (32-4) advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Kentucky, 88-76, Sunday afternoon in Chicago. Sophomore Brandon Rush scored 19 points, including 6-of-7 from three-point range, and sophomore Julian Wright added a team-high 21 points in the win. The Jayhawks will now head to San Jose to face Southern Illinois Thursday at 6:10 p.m. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Rush shot the ball terrifically in the game, opening both halves with multiple three-point baskets. The Kansas City, Mo., native also pulled down two rebounds in the contest and the six three-pointers set a new career high. Wright scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, including a pair of thunderous alley-oop finishes. Playing in front of a hometown crowd, Wright pulled down eight rebounds and dished out three assists.
Sophomore Mario Chalmers was the third KU player to score in double figures, finishing with 16 points, including three three-pointers, a team-high eight assists and four steals. As a team, the Jayhawks shot 63 percent from beyond the arc (10-of-16).
The Jayhawks took a 36-30 lead into halftime behind nine points from Chalmers and seven points from Rush. Kansas opened game with a flurry, as both Chalmers and Rush nailed their first two three-point shots.
Kansas led for nearly the entire game en route to its 13th straight win. KU shot 57 percent from the field (30-of-53), including 64 percent in the second half (18-of-28), while limiting the Wildcats to 41-percent from shooting (24-of-58). KU converted 12 Kentucky turnovers into 17 points and outscored the Wildcats 32-16 in the paint.