The victory improved the Jayhawks to 8-0, their best start since the 2004-05 season, while the Eagles fell to 3-7.
KU stormed out of the gate, holding EWU scoreless for the first 3:10 of the contest and using its bruising inside game to build an 18-5 lead midway through the first half. Darrell Arthur, who has now scored in double-digits in every game this season, had 12 of Kansas' first 26 points as the Jayhawks outscored the Eagles 20-4 in the paint in the opening frame, taking a 37-23 lead into the break.
The beginning of the second half was nearly a mirror image of the first. After both teams traded baskets in the opening minute, Kansas went on a 20-5 run to put the game out of reach. The Jayhawks, who later went on a 12-0 run during a three- minute span midway though the second, eventually led by as many as 42, holding the Eagles to just to just 32-percent shooting in the half.
KU's defense stifled EWU throughout the game, forcing 22 turnovers which it converted into 28 points. Kansas tallied 15 steals, including six by junior Mario Chalmers, to match a career high.
Chalmers also tied a career-best with eight assists and scored eight points en route to one of the Anchorage, Alaska native's most complete performances of his career.
Kansas got strong showings from much of its roster against EWU, as 11 Jayhawks entered the scoring column. Senior Russell Robinson tallied nine points and three assists, while seniors Sasha Kaun and Rodrick Stewart each scored seven.
Freshman Cole Aldrich finished with six points and a career-best seven rebounds, while emerging fan-favorite Conner Teahan netted five points on back-to-back baskets late in the game.
The Jayhawks excelled in nearly all phases of the game, committing only 11 turnovers compared to 20 assists while outrebounding EWU by a count of 48-27. Kansas' free-throw shooting showed improvement as well as it finished 20-for-25, including a perfect six-of-six by Robinson.
Eastern Washington shot just 32.7-percent from the field, marking the fourth KU opponent to finish below 40-percent this season.
KU will next be in action when it hosts DePaul on Dec. 8 in Lawrence. The game, which is set to tip at 1 pm, will be televised nationally by ESPN.
Story courtesy: KUAC