American vs Kansas

No. 6 Jayhawks rout American


LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Bill Self has a word for how blistering hot his shooters were.

"Unbelievable," the Kansas coach said.

Hitting 15 of 24 from behind the arc, one short of the school record, No. 6 Kansas romped past American University 89-57 Saturday night before an earsplitting and customary sellout of 16,300 at Allen Fieldhouse.

More on college basketball
Related links

Travis Releford had 19 points and was 5 for 6 from 3-point range. Elijah Johnson put up five 3-point attempts and missed only one. Naadir Tharpe came off the bench and launched four 3-pointers, hitting three. The Jayhawks (11-1) shot a scorching 63 percent from the floor.

"Travis was on fire," Self said. "They played kind of a contain defense. We made them pay by doing that, made a lot of shots."

Kansas took command with a 21-4 spree in the opening minutes and wound up with six players scoring at least nine points against the outmanned Eagles (4-9). Releford was 7 for 8 from the floor, Johnson finished with 12 points and freshman Perry Ellis had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double.

"We've shot it better here about the last three or four weeks," Self said. "Our top-six minute guys had 23 assists and two turnovers. I don't know if I've ever had a team get that many assists with that few turnovers before. It's the best game Perry's played. I thought he looked more comfortable than he had been."

American had one little spurt, opening the second half with a modest 8-2 run, trimming a 53-26 halftime deficit to 55-34. But then Jeff Withey, with an assist from Releford, moved in for a dunk, Releford followed with his fourth 3-pointer and Ellis connected from behind the arc and the runaway was back on.

Stephen Lumpkins had 16 points and six rebounds for the Eagles, who were coming off a 65-48 beating at the hands of then-No. 15 Georgetown. John Schoof had 14 points for American and joined the Jayhawks in the 3-point fest by going 4 for 4 from behind the arc.

"It was tough to defend them," Lumpkins said. "We really tried to focus on protecting the rim and not letting them get a bunch of easy dunks. However, it's tough when a team gets going like Kansas did when they were shooting 3s."

Kansas held the Eagles to 35 percent shooting and outrebounded them 37-28.

"They were pretty good tonight," American coach Jeff Jones said. "We came in really feeling we had to guard them inside and out because Withey is such a factor. The way they were shooting the ball, we were obviously not able to get out to their shooters."

The Jayhawks drilled five straight 3-pointers during their take-command run in the first half while stretching their home winning streak to 29, second nationally behind only No. 9 Syracuse. From there, it was just a matter of how lopsided the final score would be for the visitors from Washington, D.C.

With leading scorer Ben McLemore on the bench because of two quick fouls, the Jayhawks got the run started when his replacement, Naadir Tharpe, connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing.

Johnson hit 3-pointers on successive trips down the court, then Kevin Young -- one of four senior starters on Self's 10th Kansas team -- stole the ball at midcourt and drove in for a thunder dunk.

Daniel Munoz dropped in a 10-footer for the Eagles, and then Releford and Tharpe hit 3-pointers. Withey's dunk made it 23-9 before Andrew White rimmed out a 3-pointer, ending the long-range streak. For the half, the Jayhawks were 8 for 12 from behind the arc.

"I think we just fed off each other's energy," Releford said. "One guy made a shot, got the crowd into it. Another guy made a shot. I felt like whoever shot next, it just seemed like it was going to go in."

Tharpe had nine points while Withey had 11.

When Ben McLemore canned a 3-pointer about midway through the first half for a 76-39 lead, the Jayhawks had missed only five of 18 from behind the arc. The percentage dipped a bit in the final minutes as Kansas put its reserves in the game. Freshman Tyler Self capped the near-record night with a sickly 3-point attempt that caught nothing but air and brought a wry smile to his coach and dad.

"We were going to call an attorney and see about a name change, maybe," he joked. "But his mother said she still loves him, so I guess that will probably pass."

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Kansas guard Ben McLemore scores nine points with three assists in a win over American. (US Presswire)
Kansas guard Ben McLemore scores nine points with three assists in a win over American. (US Presswire)
American (4-9)263157
Kansas #6 (11-1) «533689
AMER:S. Lumpkins 16 Pts
AMER:T. Wroblicky 11 Reb
AMER:M. Bersch 3 Ast
KANSAS:T. Releford 19 Pts
KANSAS:P. Ellis 10 Reb
KANSAS:N. Tharpe 12 Ast

Related Video

January 16, 2018
Jayhawks rally late, beat WVU 71-66 (1:32)
January 11, 2018
What's the best conference in college hoops?
January 8, 2018
Big 12 Title Contenders
January 3, 2018
Kansas loses another game at home

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

Stephen Lumpkins
Travis Releford
American Eagles
D. Munoz, G373-90-00206
J. Schoof, G345-70-023314
T. Wroblicky, C333-102-511228
S. Lumpkins, F305-106-761216
M. Bersch, F141-30-01303
B. Jolivette, G192-60-00205
J. Reed, G100-30-21020
A. Carroll, G90-30-00010
M. Vasic, G71-40-00003
Z. Elcano, C31-20-01002
D. Fisher, F20-00-23000
W. Flood Jr., G20-20-01010
K. Kager, F10-10-00000
J. Borucki, GDid Not Play
B. Dooley, GDid Not Play
Totals 21-608-1626131157
Kansas Jayhawks
E. Johnson, G244-80-014012
T. Releford, G237-80-023019
J. Withey, C215-71-140011
B. McLemore, G202-44-43329
K. Young, F173-30-04106
J. Traylor, F211-31-35053
N. Tharpe, G203-40-041219
P. Ellis, F175-70-0100311
A. White III, G142-50-01044
R. Adams, G111-20-00112
N. Roberts, G30-00-01000
C. Garrett, G30-00-00000
E. Manning, G31-10-00013
T. Self, G30-20-01100
J. Wesley, FDid Not Play
L. Lucas, FDid Not Play
Z. Peters, FDid Not Play
Totals 34-546-836251789
Patriot League
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Boston U.6-210-9202
Army West Point5-312-7199
Holy Cross3-66-14321

Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
W. Virginia5-316-418
Kansas St.5-315-557
Texas Tech4-315-421
Oklahoma St.3-413-688
Iowa St.2-611-883
Other games
WMU 68 Final
SACL 77 Final
UNLV 73 Final
UNC 79
AUB 79 Final
ILL 81
UK 77 Final
LOU 80
CHST 44 Final
AF 61 Final
FLA 78
CMICH 73 Final
AST 36 Final
SYR 57
UMKC 44 Final
KSU 52
BUTL 68 Final
EVAN 70 Final