🏀 No. 9 Kansas Rolls Past Texas Southern 87-55
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Jalen Wilson hit five 3-pointers and scored 22 points, MJ Rice added 19 and No. 9 Kansas bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 87-55 rout of Texas Southern on Monday night.
“Just coming in and doing my job, really, whether that’s bringing energy or playing defense,” Rice said afterward. “I know I missed some time but it’s also kind of like a build-up. I have to get that rhythm back.”
Gradey Dick had 15 points, Joseph Yesufu 14 and KJ Adams Jr. 10 for the Jayhawks (7-1), who fell to No. 13 Tennessee in the title game of the Battle 4 Atlantis. They improved to 109-16 after a loss under coach Bill Self.
“I thought it was probably pretty good overall,” Self said, “considering we were tired, and we hadn’t practiced since we played Tennessee. I thought that was about as good as we could do.”
Davon Barnes had 22 points and Zytarious Mortle scored 11 for the Tigers (1-7), whose tough nonconference schedule has taken them to Texas Tech, Houston and Auburn with a trip to Wichita State still to come.
The game was a rematch of a first-round NCAA Tournament game won by the Jayhawks on their way to the national championship last season. And for a stretch in the first half, the Tigers gave the champs all they could handle.
Texas Southern was still within 14-10 midway through the first half when Kansas ripped off a 15-2 run to seize control. But even during the spurt, the Jayhawks were unable to capitalize on turnovers and couldn’t salvage much of an advantage on the boards.
They even gave up a buzzer-beating 3 that got the preseason SWAC favorites within 40-25 at halftime.
“Defensively we were not very good early,” Self said, “and they missed a lot of layups.”
If there was any drama left, it evaporated in the opening minutes of the second half. Texas Southern turned it over four times in its first five possessions, Kansas ripped off a 14-2 run and Self eventually was able to empty his bench.
ONE LAST TIME
TV play-by-play man Dave Armstrong signed off for the last time after a 38-year career broadcasting the NBA, Major League Baseball, college football and college basketball. He’s been a staple in the Big 12 since 1988, when it was known as the Big Eight, and regularly called games in the Big East, the Big Ten and the ACC.
Texas Southern couldn’t overcome 16 turnovers and a poor night from the 3-point arc, where the Tigers were 4 of 17. They also got just six points off the bench, and their lack of depth was evident as they wore down in the second half.
Kansas was 13 of 29 from behind the arc, and many of the shots came off open looks courtesy of good ball movement. The Jayhawks had 23 assists on 30 made shots, including six assists from Wilson and nine from Dajuan Harris Jr.
Texas Southern returns home to face NAIA foe North American on Sunday.
Kansas plays Seton Hall on Thursday night in the Big East-Big 12 Battle.