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Kansas handles UC Irvine 78-53

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Jayhawks use a big second half to run away from the Anteaters.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas took a 7-0 lead to open up the game, but UC Irvine wasn't about to go down without a fight.  The Anteaters took leads of 13-9 and 24-20 in the first half before the Jayhawks did some fighting back of their own to take a 28-26 lead into halftime.

The second half was a completely different story.  Whatever Bill Self told the team in the locker room will probably become some kind of legend as KU began the half on a 16-2 run.  By the time the under-12 TV timeout arrived, KU had an 18-point lead and cruised from there.

Final score - Kansas 78, UC Irvine 53.

Stats

Perry Ellis led all scorers with 14 points.  Two other Jayhawks scored in double figures: Mason (13) and Greene (10).

Mason led the Jayhawks with 6 assists against two turnovers.

Kansas outrebounded Irvine 35-28.  Ellis led the way with 9.

As a team, Kansas hit 5/17 (29.4%) from behind the arc.  Graham hit 3/7, but Selden went 0/3 and Greene 0/2.

After shooting over 90% last year from the free throw line, Greene "struggled" tonight, sinking 8/11 (72.7%).

That makes Greene 17/22 (77.3%) for the year.

Didn't see Clay Young, but Tyler Self and Evan Manning finished out the game.

The Jayhawks led for 30:44.

Bill Self is now 196-9 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas has won 30 straight in Allen Fieldhouse.

Takeaways

Is it just me, or is Brannen Greene actually playing some defense this year?

There was some nifty passing tonight as KU tried to work UCI out of their zone defense.

Several nice alley-oops, too.

After the first half, I wasn't sure this team would win half its conference games.

Not that UCI is awful, but only playing for 20 minutes against Big 12 teams isn't going to work most nights.

I'm pretty sure Cheick Diallo didn't play at all in the second half until the coaches kids came in.  What gives?

Up Next

Big 12 play begins this coming weekend as the Jayhawks host Baylor on Saturday, Jan 2, at 3:00 PM Central time inside Allen Fieldhouse.  The game will be televised on CBS.