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Rush, Kansas cruise past Nebraska in Big 12 opener

Jan 13, 2008 - 6:13 AM LINCOLN, Nebraska (Ticker) -- After tearing through the non-conference schedule, Kansas continued its stellar play in its Big 12 opener.

Brandon Rush made his first four 3-pointers and scored a season-high 19 points as the third-ranked Jayhawks posted an easy 79-58 victory over Nebraska in the conference opener for both teams on Saturday.

With the win, Kansas (16-0, 1-0 Big 12) continued its best start since winning 22 straight to begin the 1996-97 campaign and remained one of three unbeaten teams left in Division I.

Mario Chalmers had 14 points and six assists and Russell Robinson added 10 points for the Jayhawks, who defeated the Cornhuskers for the ninth straight time. Last season, Kansas gave Nebraska its second-worst loss in school history, 92-39, on February 17.

While this one was a little closer, Kansas was in control throughout, scoring the game's first seven points and leading from start to finish.

The Jayhawks shot 56 percent (14-of-25) in the first half and led, 42-30, at the break. Rush had 16 of his points in the opening 20 minutes, shooting 4-of-6 from the field.

Kansas used a 13-3 run - capped by a three-point play by Sherron Collins - to take its largest lead at 66-44 with 7:12 to play, cruising to the finish.

The Jayhawks made 10-of-22 of their 3-pointers and shot over 50 percent from the field for the 14th time this season.

It was the 17th straight conference-opening win for Kansas, which also outrebounded Nebraska, 37-24, for the game.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Cornhuskers (11-3, 0-1), who shot 40 percent (20-of-50) from the field.

After trailing by nine early, the Cornhuskers closed within three points midway through the first half. But Rush scored eight of Kansas' next 11 to help build the lead back up to 34-24 with 4:14 left in the first.

Alex Maric had 19 points to lead Nebraska, which dropped to 9-1 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center this season. The 6-11 Australian native was 7-of-12 from the field but made only 5-of-10 free throws and tied a season low with four rebounds.

    --- --- -----
    KANSAS (3) 42 37 79
    NEBRASKA 30 28 58 FINAL

    Jan 12 11:02 PM

    (3) KANSAS 42

    Jan 12 9:54 PM