Emotional game ends in victory

The fans didn't quite fill the Fieldhouse on an icy Sunday, but those in attendance found plenty to cheer about as Kansas defeated Colorado, 78-57.

Kansas was led by Wayne Simien, who earned a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds. It was Simien's fifth double-double of the season.

"I thought Wayne (Simien) was a great presence. When you get 15 rebounds in any game is quite an accomplishment," said coach Bill Self.

Simien's teammates also noticed – and appreciated – the big man's efforts.

"Wayne got his rebounding edge back," said Aaron Miles. "He became a beast on the boards."

Simien was a beast last week as well, racking up 14 rebounds against Richmond. However the Jayhawks lost that game by one point after a last second shot by Tony Dobbins. The disappointment was still fresh and helped to energize the team this time around.

"It was a really good bounce back game from the disappointment we had against Richmond, especially being a conference game," said Simien.

"Right now is the time we're really going to get to the bulk of the conference schedule, the tougher games. I feel a win like this will help get us going."

"It's something I will think back on personally. I know some of my teammates will. We are not dwelling on it.. We came out tonight and took it to Colorado. We took our anger out on them," said Giddens.

Giddens was not the only player in the arena feeling emotional on Sunday. Colorado's start center David Harrison scored only five points in 14 minutes, encumbered with foul trouble. His frustration was evidenced by one early incident of yelling back the opposing fans. After fouling out with over ten minutes to play, Coach Patton sent Harrison to the locker room – but not before the center stopped to again respond to those choosing to harass him from the stands as he exited. Giddens also exchanged words with Lamar Harris, resulting in a technical foul called against Colorado.

Emotion aside, the 21 victory was a convincing one. Kansas came out strong and Colorado never had a chance to match the momentum.

"Our guys did a good job and they showed some toughness bouncing back from a disappointing loss," said Self. "I was pleased with how we played. It was probably the best first half - as far as being efficient, - that we have played all year."

"I think everybody took it upon themselves to do better in whatever area they did poorly in," surmised Miles.

"J.R. did a tremendous job rebounding the ball and playing defense. That is something he wasn't doing. He stepped up and got eight rebounds today," said Miles.

Giddens also scored 13 points, including going 3-5 from three point range.

"We just went out there and hit the shots today. You could say we are the worst three point shooting team in the conference, but right now we are 4-0. I think we are doing pretty good," said Giddens.

The Jayhawks face Kansas State in Manhattan on Wednesday.


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