Kansas blows out Rider
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Junior forward Perry Ellis dove through the lane to steal an inbounds pass and polished off his work with a three-point play to put the Jayhawks up by 30 in the second half, sending No. 11/12 Kansas to its Thanksgiving trip with a win against Rider inside Allen Fieldhouse Monday night, 87-60.
Kansas (2-1) and Rider (2-2) kicked off the on-campus, non-bracketed portion of the Orlando Classic. The Jayhawks now head to Florida to start the three-game tournament on Thanksgiving Day against Rhode Island. Although KU certainly wanted to get a good start in the event, the Jayhawks were equally concerned with wiping away the bitter taste left by the lopsided loss to top-ranked Kentucky their last time out. A 20-for-30 shooting effort in the first half and 60 percent (31-for-52) for the evening did the trick.
Three different Jayhawks were in double-figures by halftime, including Ellis, who tied for the game-high with 17 points. He missed just once all night from the field and connected on seven of his 10 free throws. Sophomore guard Brannen Greene poured in 10 points over the final 20 minutes to tie Ellis with a career-best 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Freshman forward Cliff Alexander joined him off the bench with 10 points, making all four of his shots in the first half.
Sophomore forward Landen Lucas and freshman guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk earned their first career starts and enjoyed the opportunity with career-high scoring efforts. Mykhailiuk turned in his first multi-three night en route to 10 points, while Lucas was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor for nine points. Sophomore guard Wayne Selden, Jr. was held scoreless for the first time in his time at Kansas, but dished out a personal-best nine assists. Fellow sophomore guard Frank Mason III added seven points, four assists and matched Mykhailiuk with a team-best five boards.
On the opposing bench, sophomore forward Xavier Lundy led the Broncs off the bench with 15 points, while junior guard Teddy Okereafor tallied 10. Facing yet another seven-footer this season, the Jayhawks held senior center Matt Lopez to just six points.
The Jayhawks started the game looking to bury their last offensive performance against top-ranked Kentucky, firing out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes. When Selden hit Alexander for the alley-oop dunk that left the whole goal – and Allen Fieldhouse – rocking, the Jayhawks were shooting nearly 65 percent. Alexander kept the hot start rolling, going 4-for-4 in the first half, including a three-point play and KU’s first block of the night.
Off and running in no time, Kansas’ offense was accompanied nicely by a defensive effort that didn’t allow the Broncs to reach double-figures until the 8:05 mark. Thanks to back-to-back buckets from Mykhailiuk sandwiched between a one-handed slam by Ellis, KU point the 20-point margin as halftime approached, 38-15. Meeting and beating their last-game scoring output, KU nailed six-straight baskets on their way to the lockerroom. Shooting a much-improved 67 percent, the Jayhawks took a commanding 51-22 lead to the break.
Rider came out and swiped six of the first nine points of the second half, but the trend was a brief one as Ellis’ three-point play put the Jayhawks up by 30 and out of reach with 15 minutes still on the clock. Ellis continued to lead the way, but his teammates distributed the workload fairly evenly to maintain the margin. Greene and Mason uncorked three-pointers and Traylor added four second-half points.
With the game on lockdown well before the waning moments, junior forward Hunter Mickelson collected his first points as a Jayhawk. In fact, he scored the last six for the Jayhawks to wrap up the 87-60 win.
Kansas will head to Orlando, Florida, for bracket play in the Orlando Classic. KU will face Rhode Island at 1:30 p.m. (Central) on Thanksgiving Day and either Tennessee or Santa Clara the following day, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m. The event concludes on Sunday, Nov. 30.
SERIES INFO: Kansas improved to 3-0 against Rider
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (214th-consecutive sellout)
- Made the Jayhawks 2-1 for the fourth time in Bill Self’s 12 seasons at Kansas.
- Improved Kansas to 62-8 in games following a rare loss under Self, including 38 rebound wins at Allen Fieldhouse.
- Kept Kansas a sparkling 3-0 against Rider and moved the Jayhawks to 14-1 all-time against current members of the MAAC.
- Marked its second victory in historic Allen Fieldhouse this season and improved the program to 716-109 all-time, including 177-9 under Self’s watch, in the venue’s 60th season.
- Improved Self to 327-70 at Kansas and 534-175 overall.
- Made KU’s all-time record 2,128-823.
- The Jayhawk bench outscored the starters 44-43 in the lopsided victory. It was the first time that the reserves outscored the starters since the Kansas bench tallied 49 of 82 points in a win over Texas Tech (3/5/14). KU had just two games with 40+ bench points a year ago.
- Kansas swatted a season-best six shot attempts, including two by Junior F Jamari Traylor.
- Kansas pushed its lead to as many as 34 points, twice, in the second half – the first after back-to-back threes from sophomore guards Brannen Green and Frank Mason capped an 8-0 run at 6:30 (74-40).
- Kansas used points from three different players to bolt out to a 6-0 lead in the game’s first three minutes.
- KU got a boost from Freshman F Cliff Alexander near the midpoint of the first half. The talented big man came off the bench to score nine straight and 10 of 12 unanswered Jayhawk points to help Kansas push the lead to 19 with 8:34 to play.
- Freshman G Svi Mykhailiuk turned in his own freshman frenzy by scoring seven of nine straight for Kansas between 5:23 and 3:24 to push KU’s lead to 26.
- The Jayhawks scorched the nets into the break, making the last six shot attempts to extend the lead to a first-half-best 29 points at the break, 55-22. Eight different players scored in the first half, with Ellis (11), Alexander (10) and Mykhailiuk (10) all reaching double figures.
- The 51 first half points were the most by Kansas in any half this season and most since the Jayhawks poured in 53 points at TCU last season (1/25/14).
- Junior F Perry Ellis took advantage of a more favorable match-up in the paint, contributing a game-high-tying 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and added 7-of-10 from the free throw line.
- Sophomore G Brannen Greene scored 10 points in the second half and finished tied with Ellis for the game-high with 17 points. The scoring output set a new career-high in just 19 minutes played, topping his 10 point effort at K-State (2/10/14) last season.
- Freshman F Cliff Alexander turned in an inspired first half performance with 10 points off the bench, making all four shot attempts and a pair of free throws. Alexander was the first Jayhawk to reach double figures.
- Freshman G Svi Mykhailiuk became the youngest player to start a game for Kansas under Bill Self (12 seasons), when he took the floor at 17 years, 5 months and 15 days Monday night. Other notable youngsters include Julian Wright – 18 years, 8 months and 6 days at first start – and Andrew Wiggins – 18 years, 8 months, 17 days at first start.
- Mykhailiuk scored 10 points in the first half, including four of KU’s nine first half second-chance points.
- Sophomore G Wayne Selden dished out seven assists in the first half alone to tie his career-best (vs. Texas, 2/22/14), then added two more in the second half to set a new high mark (9). A starter in all 38 games of his KU career, Selden was held without points for the first time.
- Sophomore F Landen Lucas took full advantage of his first career start and notched a new career-best nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field.
- Junior F Hunter Mickelson scored the Jayhawks’ last three buckets to finish with six points, his highest point total at Kansas.