No. 17 Jayhawks roll to 89-34 win over Howard

The Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Tyshawn Taylor grabbed the opening tip, took a couple dribbles across midcourt and heaved a pass ahead to Jeff Withey, who was fouled while slamming home a rim-rattling dunk.

Kansas needed all of 5 seconds to set the tone against overmatched, undersized Howard.

Taylor finished with 13 points and five assists, Connor Teahan also had 13 points and the No. 17 Jayhawks coasted to an 89-34 victory Thursday night.

The Bison's point total was the fewest yielded by Kansas in more than two years, and the second-fewest in the Bill Self era.

''I won't put a lot of stock in it,'' Self said. ''From an energy standpoint, we played faster, more energy, seemed a little more athletic. Other than that, I wouldn't spend a lot of time on it.''

Withey finished with 10 points, and Thomas Robinson had nine points and seven rebounds while playing a team-high 22 minutes for the Jayhawks (9-3), who play North Dakota on Saturday in their final tune-up before facing rival Kansas State in their Big 12 opener next week.

''We've just been kind of focused on what we need to do on each possession, no matter what the score was,'' Teahan said. ''When you play against stiffer competition, you have to be sharp.''

Prince Okoroh led Howard (4-10) with seven points, while Glenn Andrews managed just three on 1-for-10 shooting after going for a career-high 28 points in an overtime win over Delaware last week.

''We got our butts kicked,'' Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry said simply.

The Jayhawks used a 10-0 run early in the first half to stretch the lead to double figures, with Robinson slamming down a missed 3-point attempt by Elijah Johnson with one hand to a roar from a crowd that included ''Saturday Night Live'' star Jason Sudeikis and actress Olivia Wilde.

Kansas stretched the lead to 20 on a 3-pointer by Taylor later in the half, and after a free throw by the Bison's Simuel Frazier, the Jayhawks rattled off 11 more unanswered points.

By the time little-used Kevin Young scored inside with 3:48 left, Kansas led 38-7, and the only real question was whether Howard would reach double figures by halftime.

Dadrian Collins' 3-pointer with 1:48 left got them over the mark, and a foul shot by Okoroh made it 42-13 at the break. The 13 points scored by the Bison matched what Southern California scored in the first half of a 63-47 loss to the Jayhawks a week ago.

''I feel like the bench showed a lot more than we have been showing,'' Young said. ''We came out aggressive and we just stayed after it and we had a lot of energy.''

Self substituted liberally throughout the second half, trying to get some experience for his bench players before the start of a longer, more taxing conference schedule.

The 34 points scored by the Bison (4-10) were the fewest allowed by Kansas since a 98-31 win over Alcorn State on Dec. 2, 2009, and the second-fewest since Self took over before the 2003 season.

''I've been on the short end of a lot of those,'' Self said, recalling his first season as coach of Oral Roberts. ''Tubby (Smith) beat us 99-52, I think it was. We didn't give up 100, though. I think we had like, five assists to 22 turnovers. That ratio isn't going to bode well for you.''

The Bison have lost 28 consecutive road games, including a 107-50 defeat at Indiana earlier this season. They wrap up a two-game swing through the state when they face Kansas State on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Kansas has won 12 straight at Allen Fieldhouse, which was packed to the rafters despite students being on winter break. It was the 54th consecutive non-conference victory at home - the school doesn't count the Jayhawks' loss to Davidson on Dec. 19, which was played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., even though they were the designated home team.

''I mean, it was a lot of fun, actually,'' Teahan said. ''The crowd came out with a lot more energy than we were expecting, especially over Christmas break, and once we got out to a big lead, we had to stay focused, and we did a pretty good job of that.''

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