Jayhawks Roll Central Arkansas, 94-44

Central Arkansas came to Allen Fieldhouse Thursday night determined to give the No. 1 Jayhawks a battle.

The heavy underdog Bears had a bounce in their step and fire in their eyes during pregame introductions.

UCA, indeed, opened the game on a mission, staying with Kansas for the first four minutes (KU led 8-5) before the Jayhawks unleashed a 23-0 run to lead 31-5 with 5:24 left in the first half.

Kansas (3-0) kept on rolling and won, 94-44.

Eight Jayhawks scored during that pivotal 23-0 run, including junior guard Tyrel Reed with two three-pointers. Reed, Xavier Henry, Sherron Collins and Marcus Morris led a balanced KU attack this night with 12 points each.

Every Jayhawk saw action while ten players played at least ten minutes, led by Collins's 25 minutes. Freshman guard C.J. Henry, who had been sidelined with a knee injury, made his KU debut with eight points in nine minutes. He shot 2-of-3 from three-point range.

While KU coach Bill Self knows it's hard to learn much about his team against such an overmatched foe, the head man was pleased with his team's performance.

"I thought we shared the ball better and I thought for stretches our defense was pretty good, even though they didn't really attack the basket or look to score," Self said. "We did some good things. We took better care of the basketball after pitching it all over the building Tuesday (21 turnovers against Memphis, compared to just seven TO's vs. UCA). There were some good things that happened. A lot of guys got a chance to play and play significant minutes and get a little rhythm. Some guys played  pretty well, so I was happy about that."

After beating Memphis two nights earlier, 57-55, Self thought his team's focus was decent versus Central Arkansas.

"I thought we keep their attention pretty good for the majority of the game," Self said.  

Kansas just had too much talent, too much size, and too much mojo. The Jayhawks, who wore red uniforms, shot 56.9 percent from the field, including 67.9 percent in the second half. KU shot 7-of-8 from three-point range the last 20 minutes for 87.5 percent, the best single-half percentage with a minimum of five attempts since 1998.

Defensively, KU forced 19 Bears' turnovers and held  UCA to just 25.5 percent shooing. The Bears made just 1-of-14 threes, and missed 15 straight shots during KU's 23-0 run in the first half.

Another bright spot was the play of freshman power forward Thomas Robinson, who posted season/career highs with eight points, 11 boards and three blocks in 18 minutes, after playing just two minutes against Memphis. Reed (4-of-5 shooting — all threes—  after opening the season 0-of-6 from the field) and the Morris twins were also impressive. Marcus Morris, who made his first start of the season, shot 4-of-5 from the field with four rebounds and three steals, while Markieff hit all four shots while adding four boards.

Sophomore guard Chase Buford also got in on the act, scoring a career-high four points in just three minutes.

Next up for KU is Oakland on Nov. 25 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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