Kansas Pops Raiders 108-81

LAWRENCE, Kan.--The crowd was focused on <b>Bob Knight</b> -- until Kirk Hinrich and his teammates stole the show.

Hinrich scored a career-high 28 points Saturday, and No. 2 Kansas pulled away late for a 108-81 victory over No. 24 Tech in Knight's first visit to Allen Fieldhouse as a Big 12 coach.

"It was really weird before the game," said Hinrich, who is averaging 23.3 points over his last four games. "Coach Knight comes out, and all these camera people rushed over there. We couldn't even do layups.

"We weren't worried so much about Coach Knight as we were worried about Coach Knight's team," Hinrich said. "They're a good team and they made us work."

Drew Gooden added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Nick Collison scored 20 points as the Jayhawks went over the 100-point mark for the third time in four games.

"I don't know how we won by so much," Gooden said. "By scoring 100 points and not doing our best, it gives us something to look forward to."

Hinrich was 7-for-7 from the free-throw line and is 17-for-17 in the last two games -- 25-for-26 over the last four games.

"He's really doing well," Kansas coach Roy Williams said. "Early in the season, people were concerned about his shooting the basketball. I said that by the end of the year, his percentage would be back up, and he has done that over the last several games."

Kansas (21-2, 10-0 Big 12) is off to its best conference start since the 1970-71 Jayhawks went unbeaten (14-0) through the Big 8 season.

Tech (16-6, 5-5) is 0-4 on the road since beating Texas A&M 74-72 on Jan. 9.

The Jayhawks shot 61 percent (43-for-71) from the field against Tech, which held previous opponents to 40 percent shooting. The Raiders hit just 37 percent (29-for-79) of their shots and went without a field goal for more than 5 minutes down the second-half stretch.

"Their most important ingredient is that they're just relentless," Knight said of the Jayhawks. "They just keep playing, playing, playing. I don't think other teams understand that, and I don't think other teams -- well, we were not capable of doing that."

Nathan Doudney and Andre Emmett led Tech with 15 points each. Marcus Shropshire added 13 points, and Kasib Powell and Andy Ellis had 12 each.

Jeff Boschee finished with 14 points for Kansas.

Sixteen of Hinrich's points and 15 of Gooden's came as Kansas overcame early turnover problems --and a seven-point deficit -- to take a 52-38 halftime lead.

The Jayhawks led by 20 points, 71-51, on Jeff Carey's basket with 13:22 left, but Texas Tech closed the gap to nine, 80-71, on a free throw by Emmett with 7:38 remaining.

Collison scored from underneath with 7:10 left, then drew an offensive foul on Emmett and hit the front of a 1-and-1. Hinrich converted a 3-point play, then added a layup after Aaron Miles' steal for an 88-71 lead with 6:03 left.

"So far this year, we've done a good job of someone making a play, making a basket, getting a stop," Collison said. "We couldn't really have played any worse there. It was just a matter of guys waking up and making a run."

The Jayhawks added a 14-0 run, capped by Brett Ballard's 3-pointer, for a 102-72 lead.

Kansas committed seven turnovers in the first 9 minutes -- four in the first 3:09 alone -- and trailed 27-20 with 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

"We were getting tired and about to give in," Williams said. "Fatigue makes cowards of us all, and what it does in basketball is make you a sloppy player."

Gooden's basket with 8:13 left started a 13-0 run for the Jayhawks. Hinrich went 3-for-3 from the line, hit a 3-pointer and converted a 3-point play during the run, and Gooden scored six points in an 11-3 run that gave Kansas a 48-36 lead with 1:35 left in the half.

The Jayhawks shot 66 percent (21-for-32) from the field for the half.

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