Kansas 87, Yale 46
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP)—Jeff Hawkins matched a career high with 19 points and teamed up with Russell Robinson to lead a 14-0 first-half run, helping Kansas pull away after a slow start to beat Yale 87-46 on Wednesday night.
Hawkins, who came off the bench against the Bulldogs (7-7) after starting the first 11 games for the Jayhawks, scored seven points in a 44-second span during the run.
Four of Robinson’s eight assists and three of his five steals came during the surge, which lifted Kansas from a 23-22 deficit to a 36-23 lead.
Mario Chalmers added 13 points and Sasha Kaun finished with 12 for Kansas (8-4), which won its fifth straight.
Yale, frustrating the Jayhawks early with patient offense and tenacious defense, went up 23-22 on Eric Flato’s 3-pointer with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half. But the Bulldogs didn’t score again until just 2.4 seconds remained in the half, when Sam Kaplan hit a pair of free throws.
They didn’t hit another field goal until Flato’s jumper with 16 minutes to go in the game. By then, Kansas had opened the second half with a 9-0 run and led 45-25.
Flato scored 10 points and was the only player in double figures for Yale, which sustained its most lopsided loss of the season and was held under 60 points for the first time this year.
The Jayhawks’ decisive first-half run started inauspiciously enough, with Chalmers hitting a free throw and Kaun following with a basket on Kansas’ next possession. That’s when Robinson and Hawkins took over.
Robinson stole the inbounds pass after Kaun’s basket, feeding Hawkins for a layup and a 3-point play with 2:44 left. On Yale’s next possession, Hawkins stole the ball in Kansas’ end and went all the way himself. He scored again with 2 minutes left in the half, after a steal and assist from Robinson.
After Julian Wright scored for the Jayhawks, Brandon Rush’s basket—after yet another steal and assist by Robinson—closed out the run.
An 11-0 run late in the second half gave Kansas a 74-40 lead.