🏀 Strong Start Lifts Jayhawks to 82-59 Win
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The No. 5 ranked Kansas Jayhawks moved to 2-0 on the season with a commanding 82-59 wire-to-wire victory against North Dakota State on Thursday night at Allen Fieldhouse. Redshirt junior Jalen Wilson finished just shy of a double-double with game highs of 21 points and nine rebounds on the night.
Kansas dominated the game from the jump. Wilson scored nine of the first 14 points for the Jayhawks and finished with 17 points in the half. Already holding onto a 16-6 lead, KU went on a 10-0 run to push the advantage to 26-9 with 9:11 remaining in the first half. A layup from KU freshman MJ Rice in his first career game forced a timeout from the Bison.
The timeout did not slow down the Kansas offense as KU would go on an 11-0 run shortly after to make the score 40-13. KU held a 48-19 lead at the break after sinking six three-pointers and shooting 55.9 percent from the field in the first half. The 29-point halftime lead was the largest since 2019 vs. Monmouth when Kansas was leading by 38 points at halftime.
The Jayhawks would go on to lead by as many as 34 in the second half. North Dakota State trimmed that deficit to 23 points, but that was as close as the Bison would get the remainder of the contest.
Rice finished his first career game with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists, while fellow freshman Gradey Dick had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Bobby Pettiford Jr. dished out a career-high eight assists.
For a second straight game, Kansas controlled the glass with a 46-32 edge. The Jayhawks grabbed 13 offensive rebounds in the contest and scored 46 points in the paint.
Kansas will face No. 7 Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 8:30 p.m. (Central) in Indianapolis at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The contest will be televised on ESPN. Kansas is 6-5 all-time in the Champions Classic, including 2-1 versus Duke in the event.