for this game

Kansas uses quick start to crush Northern Arizona

Nov 22, 2007 - 4:58 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- If Northern Arizona had visions of a major upset, Kansas squashed them early.

The fourth-ranked Jayhawks raced to a 34-point halftime lead and coasted to an 87-46 victory over the Lumberjacks in the Jayhawk Invitational on Wednesday.

Darrell Arthur scored 17 points and Darnell Jackson added 13 as Kansas (4-0) stayed perfect against Northern Arizona in four career meetings.

"I thought we came out with a lot of energy today," Arthur said. "Coach has been getting on us about our defense and things we need to do out there. So we came out with more intensity. We were talking more. We were just helping each other out more and just doing what Coach told us to do."

The Jayhawks took any suspense out of this one early, racing to a 12-0 lead behind five points apiece from Arthur and Mario Chalmers.

The Lumberjacks (3-2), who lost to Kansas, 91-57, a year ago, missed their first nine shots before Zarko Comagic scored with 13:20 left in the half.

"We didn't come out like we thought we would and then we panicked," Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras said. "Then they capitalized on that. I give them credit because they could have just stopped and started laughing early on, but they kept coming and coming. I think that is a sign of a very good team."

Brandon Rush, playing his second game since tearing an ACL in June, responded by nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 18-2.

The team's leading scorer last season, Rush finished with six points as the Jayhawks won their 600th game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas kept pouring it on and opened a 31-4 lead en route to taking a 44-10 cushion into the locker room at halftime.

"We guarded them like we should be guarding them," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. "We were more sound defensively. We gave up 10 points in the first half and six of those were on threes that were on bonehead plays. If we would have been sound on those two plays we would have really (shut them down). It was a good win. I was really pleased with our defense."

Northern Arizona, which led the nation in 3-point accuracy last season, hit just 4-of-24 shots overall and 2-of-10 from the arc in the opening half.

"I thought tonight's game would be different from last year's game to be perfectly honest," Adras said. "Last year we played them on opening night, this year it was game five for us. The drawback is that we have now played five games in a 10-day period. Three of which have been on the road. I am not trying to make excuses for my team because we flat out got whooped tonight from the get-go."

Comagic, Cameron Jones and Nathan Geiser each had eight points to lead the Lumberjacks, who finished 6-of-21 from 3-point range.

Kansas, meanwhile, shot a blistering 61 percent (17-of-28) in the first 20 minutes.

"It is really tough to defend them," Lumberjacks forward Kyle Landry said. "They have a really balanced attack. They can get out on the break and they have guys who can knock down 3-pointers and guys who can post up. They have a really balanced team."

    --- --- -----
    NORTHRN ARIZONA 10 36 46
    KANSAS (4) 44 43 87 FINAL

    Nov 21 9:54 PM


    Nov 21 8:57 PM