No. 1 KU scores 36 straight in rout of Alcorn St.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP)—At 15 points, no one paid much attention. Kansas had put together runs like that before, even made a habit of it during the 2008 national championship season.
At 25, the players on the bench started to notice. At 30, everyone in the building knew what was going on. By the time they were done, the Jayhawks had put together one of the greatest runs in NCAA history.
Cole Aldrich had 13 points and 16 rebounds, and top-ranked Kansas scored 36 straight points in the first half in an embarrassingly easy 98-31 victory over winless Alcorn State on Wednesday night.
“I was on the bench for half of it and was like: `They started off 4-0 and they haven’t scored since,”’ Kansas guard Conner Teahan said. “You don’t really realize it at first, but the crowd started getting into and we were having a lot of fun.”
Kansas (6-0) made quick work of the Braves, forcing a school record-tying 30 turnovers and dunking its way within one of the NCAA record for consecutive points with its big run.
Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry had 18 points each, and Thomas Robinson had 15 points and 10 rebounds to help the Jayhawks stretch the nation’s longest home winning streak to 46 games.
Kansas finished with 21 steals, blocked nine shots and had 28 assists on 35 field goals. The Jayhawks outscored Alcorn State 27-2 on second-chance points, by 36 in the paint, and had a 61-31 advantage in rebounds.
The 31 points were the fewest allowed by Kansas since 1951, and the lowest ever at Allen Fieldhouse.
Yeah, it was ugly.
In a way, though, it might have been too easy.
Kansas wasn’t going to learn much facing an overmatched opponent, other than to see if it had the maturity to not get caught up in the pickup-game atmosphere. The Jayhawks handled it well, for the most part, and now head out on the road after winning five of their first six games—all at home—by at least 30 points.
“We need to go play,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Our guys, hopefully, will not buy into these last few games us scoring a lot of points. Our season is beginning Sunday (at UCLA) as far as the competitive aspect of it.”
Alcorn State (0-10) never stood much of chance against the nation’s near-unanimous No. 1 team.
Overmatched at every position and hurt by poor transition defense, the Braves were run over after daring to take an early lead. Alcorn State shot 23 percent, made 1 of 9 from 3-point range and had just one player in double figures—JaMarkus Holt with 10—to lose by at least 60 for the second time this season.
“We just ran into a hornet’s nest tonight,” Alcorn State coach Larry Smith said.
It wasn’t much of a surprise.
Going into the game, it seemed the only way the Jayhawks were going to lose to Alcorn State was if they had 10 players foul out—and even then it probably would have been close. The talent differential was just too great for Kansas to even entertain the notion of losing to the Braves.
How great? Early on, Henry leapfrogged completely over Alcorn State’s Keith Searcy after biting on a shot fake, causing the stunned 6-foot-4 guard to travel. Henry later blocked Ian Francis by snatching the ball away—in midair, mind you—before he could even get the shot off.
It wasn’t just Henry and whoever he happened to be guarding. The Jayhawks had mismatches up and down the lineup, from Robinson’s 45-pound advantage over fellow 6-8 freshman Michael Martin to 5-8 Alex Savannah trying to contain the muscular Collins.
“The guys from Kansas are stronger, they’re faster and everything is at a fast pace,” Holt said.
Alcorn State did have an early bid for the upset. It lasted 2 minutes.
Kansas came out uncharacteristically cold, missing its first four shots, and Alcorn State hit its first two to lead 4-0.
Then Allen Fieldhouse started to close in around the Braves.
Taking advantage of turnovers and Alcorn State’s inability to get back on defense, Kansas dished and dunked its way to an almost unthinkable 36-0 run. Shaunvanta Ingram finally ended Alcorn State’s futility at 12 minutes with a short jumper, leaving Kansas one point short of the NCAA record for consecutive points, set by Utah State against Idaho in 2006.
“To come here and beat that kind of team, you have to play flawless basketball,” Smith said. “They were clicking on all cylinders. They controlled every aspect of the game.”
Kansas kept up the pressure, holding the Braves to 5-of-27 shooting and forcing 15 turnovers on the way to a 53-12 halftime lead.
The second half was more Kansas dunks, more 3-pointers, more poor transition defense by Alcorn State, including one 4-on-1 break for the Jayhawks.
The only question was whether Kansas would break the school record for margin of victory. The Jayhawks fell just short of the 70-point win over Brown in 1989, but tied for their third-largest win.
“It felt like we couldn’t do anything wrong,” Teahan said.