Kansas rolls past Tennessee State in season opener

Gary Bedore, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Basketball

Yes, KU had just seven available scholarship players, with freshman forward Billy Preston sitting out the game as punishment for missing curfew on Thursday night and missing class on Friday, according to Self.

KU, which appeared a bit sluggish in leading by just five points at halftime in a victory over Fort Hays State on Tuesday night, hit its first nine shots en route to a 25-7 lead. The team's first miss came off a drive by Newman at 12:36. KU scored on that possession, Garrett depositing a stick-back tip.

Things went so well for KU in the early going that sophomore big man Azubuike was credited with a hoop when Tennessee State's Christian Mekowulu knocked the ball into his own goal with 11:41 left in the first half, KU up 29-9. Azubuike shrugged as he raced back down court, accepting the gift basket.

Mykhailiuk had a highlight reel play the first half, skying to grab a Vick miss on a 3-pointer, and then slamming it home. Mykhailiuk also hit back-to-back 3s giving KU a 49-21 lead at 4:30.

Vick also had an impressive left-handed dunk shortly after the Mykhailiuk slam.

The dazzling plays continued the final half. Vick flipped a lob pass to Azubuike for a slam, followed by a bullet pass from Graham to Mykhailiuk to give KU a 66-28 lead with 16:43 left. Also, Mitch Lightfoot hit a 3 to give KU a 77-44 lead at 7:44. He hit another with 2:15 left to make it 90-53. And Azubuike missed a dunk, only to try a second time and flush it through.


Overall, KU hit 60 percent of its shots and was 12 of 28 on 3-pointers. .

KU will meet Kentucky at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the United Center in Chicago as part of the Champions Classic.

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