The No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks opened up their season against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. Coming into this game, Kansas had 39 consecutive wins at Allen Fieldhouse in season openers.
Kansas led 32-17 at halftime, but let the Redhawks pull within six points in the second half. However, the Jayhawks turned that six point lead into a 19 point win to end the game.
The biggest player for the Jayhawks on Friday night was senior center Jeff Withey. Withey recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. He also was a dominating force on defense with five blocks in the game.
Kansas also got huge performances from their two freshman starters. Both Perry Ellis and Ben McLemore started for the Jayhawks and were the first tandem of freshman to start for Kansas since the 1969-1970 season.
McLemore was a force on the broads with 12 rebounds in the game (tied Withey for most on the team). He also scored nine points. Ellis was two rebounds shy of a double-double as he scored 15 points and pulled in eight rebounds.
On offense, Kansas shot 38.7% from the field and outscored the Redhawks in points in the paint (38 to 20), points off turnovers (14 to 10), and second chance points (12 to 5).
The Jayhawks struggled from beyond the three-point stripe. The entire team went 2-for-22 and had a three-point percentage of 9.5%.
Defensively, Kansas held Southeast Missouri State to 29% from the field and out rebounded them 49 to 37.
Kansas’ next game will be against the No. 13 Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State opened up their season on Friday against UCONN in Germany. UCONN defeated Michigan State 66-62.
The game against MSU will be apart of the State Farm Champions Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Tuesday, November 14th.
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