No. 1 Kansas 99, Radford 64

BY foxsports • December 16, 2009

Cole Aldrich banged inside with Radford's Art Parakhouski, had a couple of shots blocked, and blocked a few of his own.

After facing all those little guys in the preseason, Aldrich welcomed a chance to face another true center.

Aldrich had 15 points and nine rebounds, and No. 1 Kansas held Parakhouski scoreless during a dominating defensive first half to rout Radford 99-64 Wednesday night.

``There's very few true centers and it's always fun to play against another big guy,'' Aldrich said. ``Everybody kind of has a stereotype that we're big, jolly, doofy kind of guys, but we really work hard in the post.''

Kansas (8-0) negated Parakhouski with double teams and dominated the first half with defense, limiting him to two shots while building an 18-point lead. The Jayhawks couldn't keep up the defensive pressure in the second half, but picked it up offensively, scoring a season-best 63 points for their sixth win of at least 30 points this season.

Kansas had six players in double figures and its reserves outscored Radford's backups 36-10 to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 47 games. Sherron Collins had 15 points and eight assists, and Xavier Henry added 13 points for the Jayhawks.

``I thought we played well,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said. ``To score 63 points is probably as efficient as we've been offensively the whole year in the second half, and the first half was about as well as we've guarded. We just have to put it all together.''

Radford (4-3) had a rough first trip to Allen Fieldhouse.

The Highlanders lost starting forward Phillip Martin to a hip injury two minutes into the game and struggled against Kansas' relentless pressure early to fall into an insurmountable hole. Joey Lynch-Flohr had a career-high 26 points - most on jump hooks - and Parakhouski scored all of his 21 points in the second half for the Highlanders, who allowed 20 second-chance points off 17 Kansas offensive rebounds.

``The challenge is to be able to play a really strong game as a team on both sides of the ball,'' Radford coach Brad Greenberg said. ``We actually played a pretty good defensive first half and struggled mightily against their defense, which was excellent in the first half.''

The marquee matchup of this rout-in-the-making was between the two NBA-quality centers.

Aldrich was a preseason All-American and averages 10.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and is seventh in the nation with 3.6 blocked shots per game.

Parakhouski was the Big South preseason player of the year and is averaging 22.3 points to go with a nation-best 14.8 rebounds.

Aldrich took a few hurried shots after getting a left-handed hook swatted by Parakhouski early before settling into a rhythm. The junior finished 5 for 9 from the floor after scoring seven points on 1-of-6 shooting Saturday against UCLA.

With the burly Big 12 just a month away, Aldrich needed this.

``It's good for us because these early tests with these big guys will set us up for those guys in the Big 12,'' Aldrich said.

Kansas doubleteamed Parakhouski on nearly every touch in the post in the first half, and he had a hard time figuring it out.

The big senior missed both of his shots in the half and didn't score until powering through Aldrich two minutes into the second. Parakhouski found a little more room after Kansas dropped the double teams, finishing 8 for 12 with 13 rebounds.

``I thought they were just going to guard me with Cole Aldrich,'' Parakhouski said. ``I didn't expect at all to see the double teams, so I was a little bit shocked.''

Unlike some of the other small-conference programs to visit Allen Fieldhouse this season, Radford had the size to match up with the Jayhawks.

Parakhouski is a sturdy 6-foot-11, and athletic forwards Lynch-Flohr and Lazar Trifunovic are both 6-8. The big Highlanders gave Kansas a little trouble early in their first game against a No. 1 team.

Lynch-Flohr and Trifunovic had the all-angles jump hooks working, while the Jayhawks struggled to shake the cobwebs out, including a hung-up-on-the-rim dunk attempt on a breakaway by Markieff Morris.

The Jayhawks quickly put an end to any thoughts of an upset, though, ripping off a 12-2 run and extending the lead to double up Radford 36-18 by halftime.

Lynch-Flohr was the lone bright spot for Radford in the first half with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The rest of the Highlanders spent most of the half shooting airballs and shots off the side of the backboard, combining to go 2 for 16 from the floor as Kansas ran away with it.

``There were some positives, but you can't take too many when you lose a game by that much,'' Lynch-Flohr said.

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