Collins Impressive in Kansas Exhibition Win
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Sherron Collins scored 22 points and handed out seven assists to lead four Jayhawks in double-figure points as the defending NCAA champion Kansas basketball team opened exhibition play with a 98-79 victory against Washburn here Tuesday night.
The victory was the 32nd consecutive exhibition win for the Jayhawks dating back to 1995 when KU lost to Lisbonne Benfica 101-93. KU head coach Bill Self improved to 18-0 in exhibition games at Kansas, including an 11-0 home record.
Kansas, which is ranked 24th in the preseason Associated Press poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, started Collins, a junior, along with four sophomores in Conner Teahan, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Cole Aldrich.
Reed hit five of six three-pointers for 16 points, while Morningstar added 15 points and Quintrell Thomas added 10 points. Thirteen of Reed's 16 points came in the first half, while Morningstar scored 10 of his 15 in the opening period as well.
Washburn, which was also playing its first exhibition game of the year, was led by 14 points from Darnell Kimble, 13 from DeAndre Eggins and 11 from Lekheythan Malone. Paul Byers recorded a game-high 10 rebounds for the Ichabods.
Collins, the only player on this year's Kansas team who averaged more than three points per game (9.3) last season, hit eight of 12 shots from the field, including one of two three-pointers. The point guard turned the ball over just one time in his game-high 30 minutes of play.
The Jayhawks shot 60.7 percent from the field and held the visitors to just 39.4 percent. Washburn held a narrow 37-36 rebounding edge, while grabbing 21 offensive boards. Both teams turned the ball over 18 times in the contest.
Washburn scored five straight points early in the game to take its only lead in the contest at 14-13. The Ichabods scored seven of their first 14 points off three KU turnovers.
The Jayhawks responded with a 17-5 run to take a 30-19 lead and never looked back. Washburn pulled within 39-29, but did not make a field goal for the final 7:35 of the first half as KU took a 57-35 lead into halftime.
Washburn outscored KU 44-41 in the second half, despite the Jayhawks making 15 of 22 field goal attempts for a 68.2 percent clip.
The Jayhawks will play their second and final exhibition game hosting Emporia State on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Jayhawk Television. KU will open regular season play hosting UMKC on Nov. 16.