🏀 Jayhawks Top George Mason, 76-67, on New Year’s Day

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks opened 2022 in style on Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse, topping George Mason 76-67 behind a season-high 20 points from Jalen Coleman-Lands.

The super-senior from Indianapolis, Ind., played a season-high 25 minutes and was 5-of-7 from deep after entering the game with eight made 3-pointers on the season. He also added three assists and a pair of blocks before fouling out late in the second half.

Coleman-Lands led a balanced effort for Kansas that saw four Jayhawks score in double figures, including super-senior forward Mitch Lightfoot, who equaled his career-high with 14 points on perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the field.

The Jayhawks, who moved to 11-1 on the season and have now won seven straight games, led for more than 33 minutes against George Mason (7-6) in a game that was scheduled this week after Kansas’s game with TCU was postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols within the TCU program.

Kansas used a hot start offensively to set the tone Saturday. The Jayhawks shot 56 percent from the field in the first half en route to taking a 48-37 lead. The Kansas bench was a big reason for the offensive output with Coleman-Lands scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting and Lightfoot scoring eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. All total, the bench scored 23 points in the first half.

George Mason’s D’Shawn Schwartz connected on a layup with 4:36 to play in the first half to make it a two-point game. From there, Kansas went on a 14-5 run to end the half, hitting its last five field goals, including a Christian Braun dunk right before the buzzer.

Coleman-Lands continued his solid play in the second half, scoring nine points on just four field goal attempts in 12 minutes. Braun, meanwhile, was perfect from the free throw late, helping to close out the visitors. Braun, who has scored in double figures in 11 straight games, finished with 14 points and a season-high six assists in 36 minutes. All six of his assists came in the first half.

Ochai Agbaji, who has scored in double figures in every game this season, scored 11 points in Saturday’s win. He also had seven rebounds in 37 minutes. The Jayhawks were without starting guard Remy Martin, who was out with a “tweaked” knee, per coach Bill Self. Jalen Wilson started in his place and had eight points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes.

Kansas is now scheduled to open Big 12 Conference play on Tuesday night, Jan. 4, at Oklahoma State. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m., CT on ESPN2.