Collins Scores 16 To Lead No. 23 Kansas Basketball To 71-56 Win vs. UMKC

Nov. 16, 2008

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sherron Collins scored 16 points to lead 23rd-ranked Kansas to a 71-56 basketball victory against Missouri-Kansas City in the season-opener for the defending national champions.

The victory was not easy for KU, which after leading 5-3, did not pull ahead of the visiting Kangaroos until the 17:35 mark of the second half, a span of 21 minutes and 30 seconds either trailing or tied.

Kansas improved to 5-0 in its series with UMKC while the Kangaroos fell to 0-2 on the season.

The Jayhawks started their season with a victory for the seventh straight year, as well as the 17th time in the last 18 seasons. The win was also the 25th straight home win for KU.

In addition to Collins, Cole Aldrich scored 13 points, all in the second half, while Tyrell Reed added 12 for KU. Markieff Morris pulled down 15 rebounds, the most by a Jayhawk since Nick Collinson had 21 in the 2003 NCAA Championship game against Syracuse.

UMKC was led by Dane Brumagin, who had 14 points, including making four of eight three-pointers and Reggie Hamilton, who scored 13.

After UMKC opened the second half with a three-point basket to take a 35-32 lead, Kansas ran off 10 straight points as part of a 17-5 run which gave the Jayhawks a 49-40 lead.

Reed scored four points in the run, while Aldrich scored seven and Tyshawn Taylor had six.

UMKC fought back pulling within 49-44, but the Jayhawks proved to be too much inside. KU outscored the Kangaroos 32-14 in the paint, while also out-racing UMKC and gaining a 16-0 advantage in fast break points.

After shooting just 32 percent from the field in the first half, KU shot 65.2 percent in the second half. KU struggled from behind the three-point line as after Collins made a three on the first possession of the game, the Jayhawks finished one of 13 from behind the line.

KU started the second half making 11 of its first 13 shots and cruised to the victory with a strong second half.

Kansas scored the first basket of the game, on a three-pointer by Collins, and led 5-3 after a basket by Reed. However, the Jayhawks would not lead again in the half as UMKC built up as much as a seven-point lead at 16-9.

The visiting Kangaroos led for a 12:29 stretch of the half before KU tied the game at 21 with 6:36 left. However, UMKC pulled back ahead and led the rest of the way until KU scored the half’s final five points, including a Brady Morningstar layup to tie the game at halftime at 32.

Kansas did not score a basket from the 9:11 mark until Morningstar’s layup at the end of the half. KU scored 13 straight points on free throws in that stretch, while slowing chipping away at the UMKC lead.

Kansas will host Florida Gulf Cost in the second round of the Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 8 pm. The game will be televised on ESPNU.