No. 3/2 Jayhawks scorch Texas Southern, 114-71
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A program-record 19 3-pointers and seven double-figure scorers highlighted an offensive clinic by the No. 3/2 Kansas Jayhawks as they topped Texas Southern, 114-71, Tuesday night in the first campus game of the HoopHall Miami Invitational. For the second-straight outing, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk led the Jayhawks in scoring with 21 points, but was joined by six teammates in double-figures as KU enjoyed its largest scoring output in two seasons.
The win pushed Kansas to 4-0 on the year, the first time the Jayhawks have started a season with four-straight victories since 2013-14. Texas Southern dropped to 0-5 in its young 2017-18 campaign.
In what will go down as one of the most lethal long-range shooting exhibitions in program history, the Jayhawks got out to anything but a hot start against a squad that entered the night hungry to claim its first win of the season. The Tigers seemed unintimidated by the raucous Allen Fieldhouse atmosphere in the early minutes, most notably forward Kevin Scott. The senior rained in eight of TSU’s first 11 points after connecting on each of his first three attempts from the field. Scott’s hot start got his team out to an 11-8 lead before the first media timeout. Meanwhile, Kansas started the game hitting just one of its first five attempts from the field.
The TSU lead didn’t last long after the first break from action. Four-straight Jayhawk 3-pointers, a pair from junior guard Lagerald Vick as well as one each from senior guard Devonte’ Graham and freshman guard Marcus Garrett, gave the Jayhawks their first lead of the game. The barrage of made shots from beyond the arc got the KU offense rolling with a 16-2 run, prompting a TSU timeout as the Tigers suddenly found themselves trailing 24-13 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the opening frame.
Kansas’ hot hands were only getting warmed up. Out of the TSU timeout, the Jayhawks extended their lead to 22 within the next three minutes, with Mykhailiuk contributing eight of those points. A fastbreak alley-oop dunk by sophomore center Udoka Azubuike upped Kansas’ lead to 37-15 prior to the under-eight minute timeout and capped KU’s run at 29-4 to respond to the early Tiger lead.
KU connected on three more 3-pointers prior to the intermission to bring its first-half total to 12, a new program best for threes in a half. The Jayhawks headed to the locker room with a 66-30 edge, with Mykhailiuk (13), Vick (15) and Garrett (10) already in double-figures.
After the half, Kansas continued to spread the wealth among its roster. It took Graham just over five minutes to record double-figure assists for the third time in four games. The senior point guard also tallied 10 second-half points, six of which were from beyond the arc, to get the Jayhawk lead up to 36 at 86-50 midway through the second 20 minutes of play. Another dunk from Azubuike just over a minute later gave KU its first 40-point lead of the game and the 7-foot center a new career high, as the sophomore ended the game with the first 20-point outing of his career.
KU cruised the rest of the way with sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot posting seven points over the final seven minutes of action. The Jayhawks’ final field goal came in fitting fashion after Garrett nailed a trey in the closing minute of the contest, KU’s 19th of the game and a new school record.
With the 114-71 final, KU saw its largest scoring output since it put up 123 against Chaminade on Nov. 25, 2015. Seven Jayhawks scored in double-figures tonight, also the most since that outing against Chaminade, highlighted by 21 from Mykhailiuk and 20 from Azubuike. Garrett turned in the second double-double of his young career with 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Vick notched the first double-double of his KU career, shooting 8-of-12 from the field for 19 points and adding 10 rebounds.
Graham was the third Jayhawk to tally a double-double, netting three 3-pointers and a season-high 17 points. In addition, for the third time this season, he dished out double-digit assists with 11 dimes.
Sophomore Malik Newman (13 points) and Lightfoot (10 points) rounded out the seven KU double-figure scorers as the Jayhawks shot over 55 percent (43-of-78) from the field for the third time in their first four outings of the season.
The Jayhawks continue the HoopHall Miami Invitational when they welcome in the Oakland Golden Grizzlies to Lawrence on Friday, Nov. 24. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on Jayhawk TV and ESPN3. Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Jeff Hawkins (analyst) will call the action.
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