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Collins, Kansas blow past Louisiana-Monroe

Nov 10, 2007 - 4:50 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Even without two key members from last season's Elite Eight team, Kansas had no problems in its season opener.

Sophomore Sherron Collins scored 22 points and had six assists as the fourth-ranked Jayhawks blew past Louisiana-Monroe, 107-78, on Friday,

It was the sixth straight season-opening win for Kansas, which finished 33-5 and lost to UCLA in the West Regional final last season.

"We did some really good things," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We really ran well and passed the ball and we scored it. We had some good individual performances and great hustle plays."

The Jayhawks lost forward Julian Wright to the NBA, and guard Brandon Rush, who suffered a torn ACL in a pickup game in June, will be out until at least December 1.

However, Collins picked up the scoring slack in just his fourth career start. The Chicago native shot 9-of-13 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from the arc, scoring 12 of his points in the first half as Kansas took a 50-35 lead after the opening 20 minutes.

"The offense was pretty good, but our defense wasn't very good today," Kansas forward Darrell Arthur said. "We are going to work on it a lot tomorrow at practice and get it back to where it needs to be. They shot over 50 percent tonight and our goal is to keep everyone under 40 percent, so we did a bad job defensively."

Darnell Jackson added a career-high 21 points off the bench for Kansas, which won its first-ever meeting against the Warhawks.

"If I would have had two points, I would have been happy with that as long as we win," Jackson said. "We all go out there and played hard as a team and we came out with a victory."

Tony Hooper and Jordan Payne each scored 19 points for UL-Monroe, which had tied for the Sun Belt Conference's West title last season.

"Our team played really hard," UL-Monroe coach Orlando Early said. "I thought we shot the ball well. I think Kansas is really, really good to say the least."

    --- --- -----
    UL MONROE 35 43 78
    KANSAS (4) 50 57 107 FINAL

    Nov 9 10:02 PM

    UL MONROE 35

    Nov 9 9:04 PM