Kansas' regular season opener got off to a rough start tonight against UC-Santa Barbara. The 16.5 point favorites took their time getting the offense going, holding just a 16-13 advantage at the under 8 timeout. They would start to click at that point, finishing the half with a 31-23 lead.
In the second half, Cliff Alexander was finally able to get things going after a scoreless first, putting up 9 points and 4 rebounds. UC-Santa Barbara never really threatened, despite a 10-0 run midway through the half, but they would never disappear either. In the end, the Jayhawks held the scrappy Gauchos at arm's length, winning 69-59.
As ten point victories go, this one was pretty disappointing. Despite nice overall performances from Ellis, Mason and Graham, the team looked uninspired for much of the game, and simply ended up taking care of business without giving fans much to drool over. The next test is against Kentucky on Tuesday, and Kansas will no doubt need to bring more energy to have a legitimate shot against #1