Kansas 69, California 56
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Brandon Rush scored eight points during a 24-6 run opening the second half and Kansas beat California 69-56 Saturday on a supposedly neutral court that was almost entirely pro-Jayhawk.
C.J. Giles had six points during the spree, which turned California’s 34-31 halftime lead into a 53-38 advantage for Kansas (4-4), which looked terrible while missing nine of its first 10 shots.
Giles, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, also spent much of the game guarding Leon Powe, Cal’s 6-8 sophomore who had been averaging 25 points and nine rebounds. Powe, sidelined by injury all last year and the first four games of this season, had eight points in the first half and 16 points and 11 rebounds for the game.
Omar Wilkes, who spent one year at Kansas before transferring back to his native California, got a nice hand from the Kemper Arena crowd during pre-game introductions and finished with 13 points.
The loss was the first in seven games for the often impatient Bears (6-2), who had won six straight at home after losing their opener at Eastern Michigan.
Giles had 17 points and nine rebounds for Kansas, followed by three freshmen — Rush with 12 points, Julian Wright with 11 and Micah Downs with 10. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Bears 41-32.
Rush got the second-half surge started with a bucket and then made a nifty pass inside to Julian Wright for another basket.
After Rush’s three-point play and another Rush-to-Wright bucket, Kansas had a 40-38 lead.
Then Rush canned a 3-pointer and Kansas outscored the Bears 11-0 and was never threatened again.
The mistake-prone Jayhawks had six turnovers and only three points at the 13:03 mark of the first half. But they trailed only 7-3 because the Golden Bears, rarely working hard to get open looks, were not much better.
The free throw line, where the Bears have outscored their opponents 124-58 while playing six of seven at home, was not nearly as kind on the court where Kansas won the 1988 NCAA championship. Cal was 12-for-17 from the stripe while Kansas was 11-for-14.