for this game

Kansas comes alive to post first road win

Jan 8, 2007 - 2:45 AM COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Mario Chalmers and Kansas once again experienced a slow start. The difference was they found their mark soon after.

Chalmers scored 19 points and freshman Darrell Arthur added 17 as the ninth-ranked Jayhawks continued its preparation for their league opener with a 70-54 victory over South Carolina.

Brandon Rush added 13 points for Kansas (13-2), which captured its first true road win in two chances this season. It will begin its Big 12 Conference schedule against No. 12 Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

"We played pretty well considering we've only been away from home a couple of times this year," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "It was a true road game."

Despite the strong start to the season, Kansas has had problems with the beginning of games. Those slow starts have led to close loses to Oral Roberts and DePaul earlier in the season.

The Jayhawks found themselves trailing early after missing their first three shots and committed three turnovers over the opening three minutes of the game. However, they woke up with a 12-1 run, going ahead, 12-5, on a layup by Rush with 12:24 remaining.

The last two baskets in the burst came off turnovers by the Gamecocks, and the Jayhawks finished the game with 23 points off 16 giveaways.

"I thought our defense in the first 15 minutes was excellent," Self said. "Not that our offense was great, but we created havoc on defense. Obviously, we played aggressively."

"I was not pleased with our execution," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "There were errant passes, missed catches, and you pay for that against a team like Kansas."

Despite Kansas' spurt, South Carolina was able to stay close, trailing just 32-28 at the half behind some strong work on the boards. Overall, the Gamecocks held a 20-11 edge in rebounding over the first 20 minutes.

However, Kansas was able to turn around that deficit in the second half and pulled away in score also, opening up a 54-42 lead on a three-point play by Arthur with 8:08 remaining.

The Jayhawks finished with a 20-8 advantage in rebounding in the second half and 31-28 for the game.

"We didn't rebound the ball in the first half very well," Self said. "The second half we did."

South Carolina, which fell to 1-6 in hosting ranked teams in the past 10 years, enabled Kansas to pull away by struggling with its free throws. The Gamecocks finished 8-of-19 (42 percent).

"I don't think we completed two in a row in the second half," Odom said. "If you go 8-of-19, you're not going to win at this level. When you don't hit them, you open the door for a team like Kansas. They know how to hurt you."

Chalmers finished 7-of-10 from the field and Arthur went 8-of-12 off the bench for the Jayhawks, who shot 64 percent (18-of-28) in the second half to capture their seventh straight win.

Dwayne Day scored 13 points and Brandon Wallace added 12 and nine rebounds for the Gamecocks (10-3), who shot 39 percent (19-of-49) in having a six-game winning streak snapped.

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    KANSAS (9) 32 38 70

    Jan 7 6:27 PM

    KANSAS (9) 32

    Jan 7 5:24 PM