Hot-shooting Jayhawks claim 92-56 season-opening win
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior Lagerald Vick matched his career high with 23 points to lead six players in double figures, while senior Devonte’ Graham and freshman Marcus Garrett each posted double-doubles, as No. 4/3 Kansas cruised to a 92-56 season-opening win over Tennessee State Friday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
By the time Kansas missed its first shot seven and half minutes into the game, the Jayhawks had settled into a comfortable 25-7 lead, thanks to a 9-for-9 team shooting effort, and were well on their way to their 44th-straight home-opening victory. Following an opening basket by the Tigers’ Darreon Reddick, KU rattled off a 14-0 run powered by 5-for-5 shooting, including a 3-for-3 effort on treys, and never looked back with a 14-2 lead. Graham and Vick accounted for five points apiece during the run.
The Jayhawks pushed the lead to 20 points with 12:23 left in the half after Malik Neman’s fastbreak layup rolled off the rim, but Garrett was there for the putback and a 27-7 advantage. Leading 38-19, KU finished the half with an 18-8 run to take a 56-27 edge at the intermission.
After the first 20 minutes, four of the five starting Jayhawks had already scored in double figures and the fifth, Udoka Azubuike, posted nine. As a team, the Jayhawks shot 70 percent from the field in the first half.
KU continued its torrid shooting in the second half and jumped out to its largest lead of the game, 74-34, at the 14:23 mark of the second half. Vick led the second-half charge with 13 of his game-high 23 points. Even though Graham was held scoreless in the second half, he dished out a career-best 12 assists to pair with his 10 points for his first-career double-double. He also added seven rebounds.
Garrett finished with 10 points and 10 boards and became the first Jayhawk to tally a double-double in his KU debut since David Padgett posted 13 points and 10 rebounds against Tennessee-Chattanooga on Nov. 21, 2003.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk notched 15 points on 3-for-6 shooting from three, while Azubuike finished with 13 points and six rebounds. The Jayhawk seven-footer was 6-for-7 from the field. Newman rounded out the the double-digit scorers with 12.
Reddick led Tennessee State with 20 points, but the Jayhawks held the Tigers to 32.8 percent shooting.
The Jayhawks will be back in action Tuesday for the second game of the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago, as KU faces No. 5/4 Kentucky. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT, and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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