🏀 Braun Scores Career High to Lead Jayhawks Over St. John's
ELMONT, N.Y. – The Kansas Jayhawks used a furious run in the second half Friday night to pull away from St. John’s and notch a road victory against the Red Storm, 95-75 at UBS Arena.
The Jayhawks improved to 6-1 on the season, while St. John’s fell to 5-2. Kansas improves to 2-1 in the Big East/Big 12 Showdown, while its 20-point margin on Friday night was the most, win or lose, by the Jayhawks in the Big East/Big 12 Showdown.
Junior guard Christian Braun had a career-high 31 points in the win as the Jayhawks went on a 22-3 run to break open a three-point game at the midway point of the second half. Leading 64-59 with 10:35 to play, St. John’s got a pair of free throws from Julian Champagnie to make the score 64-61 and cut the deficit to three for the first time since it was 5-2 in the first half.
But Kansas responded, and by the time the run was over, the Jayhawks led 86-64 with 3:45 to play and put the game on ice. Fittingly, Braun ended the run with four straight free throws.
The run started with a 3-pointer from Ochai Agbaji off an assist from Dajuan Harris. Agbaji had the next bucket, before Braun had the next five points. The 6-foot-7-inch Burlington native had nine points during the run for the Jayhawks.
Braun, Agbaji (23), David McCormack (15) and Remy Martin (12) all had double-digit points in the win for the Jayhawks. Agbaji was 9-for-16 from the floor and 5 of 9 from 3-point range. He also added seven rebounds in 35 minutes. McCormack notched his first double-double of the season and eighth of his career with 13 rebounds to go with his 15 points in 28 minutes. Martin added a team-high five assists and was an efficient 5 of 7 from the floor.
The Jayhawks wasted no time jumping out in front of the host Red Storm on Friday, going on a 13-0 run after falling behind 2-0 out of the gate. In fact, the 2-0 deficit was the only time the Jayhawks trailed all game.
McCormack was especially strong early, scoring six of the team’s first 13 points. By halftime, McCormack had 11 points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes. Agbaji was also especially strong in the first half, scoring 16 of his 23 points in the first frame.
Braun, meanwhile, took over in the second, scoring 22 of his 31 points on just eight field goal attempts. He was 6 of 8 from the floor and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. He also had four of his eight rebounds in the second half.
Kansas outrebounded St. John’s in the win, 47-29, including 19-9 on the offensive end. The Jayhawks also outscored the Red Storm 48-24 in points in the paint and 24-6 in second chance points. Kansas shot 49 percent from the floor in the win.
The Jayhawks will return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m., against UTEP in Kansas City at T-Mobile Center.