Xavier Henry's 31 Lead Top-Ranked Jayhawks To 90-65 Win Over LaSalle

Dec. 12, 2009

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Henry Drops Career-High 31 Points on Explorers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Freshman Xavier Henry scored a career-high 31 points to lead Kansas to a 90-65 victory against La Salle in front of 18,830 fans at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The 18,830 fans marked the largest regular-season crowd for a college basketball game at the Sprint Center.

The win improves Kansas to 9-0 for the third time under head coach Bill Self, and 6-2 in games played at the Sprint Center. The Explorers fall to 6-3 on the season and 0-3 all time against KU.

Henry twice ignited the sold-out crowd in the second half, first with back-to-back layups off feeds from senior Sherron Collins and later, on back-to-back three-pointers with under seven minutes to play, which secured the lopsided victory for the Jayhawks.

The game was a close encounter through the first 10 minutes, as LaSalle took a one-point lead at 17-16 after Rodney Green buried a three from the top of the arc with 13:02 left in the first frame.

Following Green’s three, Kansas head coach Bill Self called a timeout to regroup the Jayhawks. Coming out of the break, sophomore Tyshawn Taylor scored a layup in traffic to spark a 26-10 run by KU to close out the first half. Taylor, Henry and junior Cole Aldrich combined for 21 of the 26 points.

KU outscored LaSalle by 10 points in the second half, to extend its 42-27 halftime lead to 25 for the final 90-65 margin.

Jayhawk sophomore Markieff Morris also had an outstanding afternoon against his hometown team, as he recorded the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Morris made 5-of-6 shots from the floor, including three dunks, while also recording a personal-best four blocks.

Aldrich finished with 19 points off of 8-of-10 shooting from the field. He also added six boards and five rejections. Taylor was the fourth Jayhawk in double-figures as he poured in 10 points, to go along with his six assists. Collins also finished with six dimes.

KU shot 52.5 percent from the field as a team, including 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. The Kansas defense held LaSalle to just 36.1 percent from the floor.

Despite trailing on the backboards by five at the half, KU crashed the boards in the second period, taking a 44-34 edge in rebounding for the game.

Jerrell Williams led the Explorers with 21 points, while Green chipped in 19. Yves Mekongo added 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the losing effort.

No. 1 Kansas will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 19, when it hosts Michigan at 11 a.m., in Allen Fieldhouse.