No. 1 Kansas shoots past Hornets, 93-55
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt junior transfer Dedric Lawson made his Kansas debut one to remember as the Jayhawks opened exhibition play against Emporia State Thursday night, defeating the Hornets, 93-55, inside Allen Fieldhouse. Lawson led all scorers with a 31-point, 15-rebound effort as KU opened up its exhibition campaign.
It was an impressive effort from the opening jump as Lawson scored the first 10 points for the Jayhawks, hitting on his first 3-point shot three minutes into the game. The Memphis native was just getting started as he also recorded a double-double before the first half ended with 14 points and 12 rebounds in the opening stanza.
The Jayhawk defense was stifling, as KU held the Hornets to an 8-for-38 shooting mark in the first half. KU also used a 13-0 run to build the halftime lead, thanks in part to the quick hands of Quentin Grimes, who blocked a shot which led to a layup on the other end for the true freshman. The Jayhawks ended the half on a good note as redshirt sophomore Charlie Moore hit three 3-pointers of his own, hitting on one with a minute remaining.
Kansas stretched its lead in the second half with a pair of 3-pointers from Lagerald Vick and K.J. Lawson to increase the lead to 56-31 with 12 minutes left.
Junior Udoka Azubuike brought the crowd to their feet with the only dunk of the game: a two-handed, rim-rattling dunk over an Emporia State defender for his first point which charged up the Jayhawk offense. Dedric Lawson and David McCormack added layups before Emporia State kicked into gear.
With five minutes remaining, Dedric Lawson hit his second 3-pointer of the night with Grimes adding one himself. Freshman Ochai Agbaji hit two consecutive 3-pointers to close out the game, extending the lead to 38 and locking down the victory.
Dedric Lawson led all scorers with 31 points and 15 rebounds, shooting an explosive 68 percent from the field. Grimes added 10 points with Dotson pouring in eight. Vick and K.J. Lawson both scored seven apiece, with Vick dishing out five assists on the night.
Head coach Bill Self
On tonight’s game overall:
“I thought we started out pretty good. We played a lot of guys. There was some highlights and good things early, but not nearly enough. But also I told the guys before the game, You’re not going to play and work for this stuff’ so (watching) tape will be a good teaching tool.”
Kansas redshirt-junior forward Dedric Lawson
On getting off to a fast start:
“They were trapping (Udoka) Azubuike and we had practiced it earlier in shootaround, just the four man cutting to the basket and he found me a couple times which got me in rhythm. Lagerald (Vick) found me again in the corner, I made the 3-ball and after that I was in rhythm and just playing.”
On how it feels to be back on the court:
“It felt great practicing against the guys on that team and finally playing against some different guys.”
Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes
On Dedric Lawson’s performance tonight:
“I thought he was great. He went out there just like Coach said, from the jump always be aggressive. Like Dedric said, they were trapping Udoka, so he was cutting to the basket looking to make plays by running the floor and being aggressive.”
On Dedric Lawson’s impact to team:
“He definitely makes the game look so easy at times on the court, not just for himself, but for his teammates out there. It’s really fun to be out there playing with him.”
On the significance of first-career collegiate start:
“It matters to me, but it also doesn’t matter, because I think anybody on this team could start. We are really deep, so you have to have the mindset of not only wanting to start, but (doing) what you can contribute to the team.”
Kansas freshman guard Devon Dotson
On Dedric Lawson’s performance tonight:
“He was doing what he does. It was a great game for him, he made the easy plays, he did well.”
On pushing the ball:
“It’s all Coach preaches, ‘Get downhill, play fast, play with pace.’ That’s my job as a point guard. You have to get the ball up and down (the court) and put pressure on their defense and make plays for others and myself.”
Dedric Lawson’s explosive 31-point, 15-rebound double-double performance highlighted the night for the Jayhawks as the redshirt junior shot 50 percent and connected on two 3-pointers to lead all scorers.
- Redshirt junior Dedric Lawson scored the first 10 points of the game for the Jayhawks.
- In 11 minutes of first half play, Dedric Lawson recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
- The last time a Jayhawk recorded a double-double in an exhibition game was in 2017 when Udoka Azubuike and Lagerald Vick both did so against Pittsburg State.
- Kansas held Emporia State to 22 points at halftime which is the smallest margin since 2014 against Washburn with 13 in an exhibition game.
- Dedric Lawson’s 31 points is the most by a Jayhawk in an exhibition game as far back as the 2008-2009 season using KU Athletics’ online database.
- KU’s balanced scoring attack was evident by the 35 points off the bench with 58 coming from the starters.
- Senior guard Lagerald Vick tied his career high in assists in exhibition games with five. He last accomplished this on August 6, 2017, against the Italy All-Stars.
- The Jayhawks out rebounded the Hornets by a margin of 28 with 20 offensive and 39 defensive (59-31).
- The Jayhawks 59 rebounds is the most by the Jayhawks in an exhibition game as far back as the 2008-2009 season using KU Athletics’ online database.
- Kansas improved their overall record against Emporia State to 21-2 while 12-0 in Allen Fieldhouse.
- This win made Kansas 87-9 all-time in exhibition games.
- This win extended Kansas’ home exhibition winning streak to 49 games dating back to the 1994 season.
- Gave KU its 28th-consecutive exhibition victory.
Kansas will conclude exhibition action when it hosts Washburn on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. (Central) in Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on the Jayhawk Television Network and ESPN+.
This will be KU’s 41st meeting all-time with Washburn and the eighth in exhibition play. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series 37-3, with the most recent meeting coming on Nov. 1, 2016. Kansas won that match-up, also in exhibition play, 92-74, in Lawrence.
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