Jayhawks Cruise to 107-78 Victory over Louisiana Monroe in Season Opener

Nov. 9, 2007

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Behind a balanced offensive attack that saw five players score in double figures, including 22 from sophomore Sherron Collins and a career-high 21 by senior Darnell Jackson, the fourth-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team blasted Louisiana at Monroe, 107-78, in its season opener on Friday night at Allen Fieldhouse.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The win marked KU’s 35th-straight in home openers improved the Jayhawks to 17-1 in their last 18 season-opening contests.

Kansas built an early first-half lead behind nearly 60-percent shooting and 20 points off ULM turnovers to take a 50-35 cushion into the break. The Warhawks stayed within striking distance until an 18-5 Jayhawk run extended their lead to 18 with just over seven minutes to play in the opening frame.

The `Hawks then came out of the locker room on fire, using a 17-2 run, which included a thunderous dunk by sophomore Darrell Arthur that was set up by a lob from senior Russell Robinson, to balloon their lead to 30 only seven minutes into the second half.

Freshman Tyrel Reed, playing his first game in Allen Fieldhouse, gave KU its biggest lead when he buried one of his three three-pointers to make the score 105-68 with three minutes remaining.

The Jayhawks excelled in nearly all aspects of the game as they shot 57.6-percent from the field, including 12-of-24 from beyond the arc, while turning 24 ULM turnovers into 39 points. KU also dominated the paint, outscoring the Warhawks 52-24 down low.

KU’s 107 points scored were the most in a season-opener since the 1991-92 squad hung 122 on UMBC on Nov. 23 and tied for the most put up by the Jayhawks under head coach Bill Self.

Jackson, an Oklahoma City, Okla. native, bested his previous career high of 13, which was most recently set against Kansas State on Feb. 7 of last season, while Collins recorded his fourth-career 20-plus point outing en route to finishing one shy of his career high of 23.

Senior Rodrick Stewart set a personal-best with eight assists while Collins and junior Mario Chalmers each tallied six dimes.

Robinson chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds while Arthur finished with 11 points and six boards.

Kansas will next be in action when it hosts UMKC in the first game of the Jayhawk Invitational on Sunday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on the Jayhawk Network.