Kansas Defeats Carleton 84-83 in Canada Exhibition Contest

Aug. 30, 2008

Final Stats

OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada – Behind 25 points, including the game-winning field goal, Kansas freshman Travis Releford led the Jayhawks to an 84-83 win against Canadian power Carleton at Scotiabank Place Saturday evening.

Junior Sherron Collins made his debut in the second game on the trip. The Chicago guard did not play against McGill yet scored 10 points in the nightcap victory. With 1:05 to play, Collins stepped in front of a Carleton pass to steal the ball. Collins then passed to Releford who dunked to make the score 84-80. The lead was KU’s for good as the second half saw no team lead by more than four points and there were five ties and seven lead changes.

Carleton’s Michael Kenny then made one of his four second-half three pointers with 41 seconds remaining to narrow the score to 84-83. Collins then missed a shot in the lane as the shot clock expired giving the Ravens the ball with 1.3 seconds remaining after a mad scramble for possession. Following a Raven timeout, solid defense made Kenny’s desperation three not even draw iron as KU left with the victory.

“I thought this was a great game,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “I thought we played hard after we got started. Carleton played hard. They are so well coached.

“You always want the win, but I was happier with the way we competed,” Self added. “We played really well, basically the last 35 minutes of the game. I really didn’t know if our team could win this game because we don’t have our guys (meaning the Morris twins) but certainly they responded well.”

The victory was KU’s 30th straight exhibition win dating back to 1995. Kansas improved to 48-7 all-time in exhibition play. It gave head coach Bill Self a 15-0 exhibition record while at KU. Carleton fell to 1-1 on its exhibition games against NCAA teams in 2008.

Like McGill in KU’s earlier game of the day, Carleton took control of the contest early in the opening half and built a 21-13 lead through the first 12 minutes. KU fought back and took a 43-42 lead on a Releford layup. Releford and sophomore Cole Aldrich took over the comeback combining for 19 of KU’s final 25 points to end the half. Releford had 13 of his first half 15 points in the run, including two three pointers. Aldrich scored Kansas’ first six points and ended up with 14 points in the opening period and 16 for the game, including 8-for-8 from the free throw line. KU entered intermission with a 45-44 lead.

Releford led all scorers, while teammate Tyrel Reed scored 11 points, including a three-pointer with 2:05 left to tie the score at 80-80. Aldrich led all rebounders with eight for the game.

“We came out and did what we needed to do on the defensive end,” Releford said. “We started out slow and coach got after us and after a few time outs, we finally picked it up.”

CIS (national) Player of the Year Aaron Doornekamp led Carleton with 22 points. The Ravens shot a blistering 62.5 percent from three-point range, going 15-for-24, to keep pace with KU.

Before a crowd of 7,189, the contest was the second game of the CAN-AM Shootout at Scotiabank Place, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators as South Alabama defeated Ottawa University 72-70 in game one. For KU, the game was its second of the day as the Jayhawks defeated McGill University 72-67 at Ottawa University. For Carleton, which has won five of the last six CIS national championships, it was its lone game of the day.

Kansas will conclude its three-game Canada exhibition trip when it plays at Ottawa University Sunday at 6 p.m. (Central). The game from Montpetit Hall will air live on the Jayhawk Radio Network. At 3:30 p.m., the KU-Carleton contest played Saturday night will re-air on the Jayhawk Radio Network.