No. 13 Kansas 100, Towson 54
Thomas Robinson had a double-double, Travis Releford added 14
points and No. 13 Kansas romped past outmanned Towson State 100-54
on Friday night in a season opener that was lopsided from the
Robinson, a 6-foot-10 junior getting his first chance to start
with the departure to the NBA of the vaunted Morris twins, had 18
points, 11 rebounds and four assists in what counts as the opening
round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Point guard Tyshawn Taylor, suspended along with guard Elijah
Johnson for the two exhibition games, added 12 points and four
assists for the seven-time defending Big 12 champions. Connor
Teahan had 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting and in three games is 17
Robert Nwankwo had 14 points for the Tigers, who are one of the
youngest teams in the nation and coming off a 4-26 season. Kris
Walden and Marcus Damas both had 11 points.
With Releford and Johnson hitting two 3-pointers each, the
Jayhawks scored 35 of the game’s first 45 points, capped by
Johnson’s steal and driving dunk at the 9:58 mark.
But the Jayhawks got sloppy and the inexperienced Tigers took
advantage, fashioning an 8-0 run and outscoring Kansas 19-18 to
slice the halftime lead to 53-29.
Jervon Pressley’s basket got the lead back down into the 20s at
71-43, but after Walden’s 3-pointer made it 73-46 early in the
second half, the Jayhawks unleashed an 11-0 run with Teahan hitting
his third straight 3-pointer and 7-footer Jeff Withey fighting
under the Kansas basket to dunk for an 84-46 lead.
The Tigers, who claim to be the only team in the country
returning only one letter winner, had 23 turnovers and were never
able to compete with the taller, quicker Big 12 co-favorites.
In the first 10 minutes Robinson brought the crowd to its feet
with a variety of moves, including a big dunk right after freshman
Naadir Tharpe had completed a three-point play. Teahan had a basket
and added a 3-pointer to put the Jayhawks on top 65-35 early in the
second half. A few minutes later, Teahan’s 3-pointer made it
Walden stole the ball from Taylor and drove in for a layup to
help fuel Towson State’s late surge in the first half, followed by
two field goals by Nwankwo. Taylor and Tharpe hit 3-pointers in the
final minutes for the Jayhawks, who won their 10th straight season
opener and raised coach Bill Self’s record at Allen Fieldhouse to