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Kansas uses dominant first half to rout Nebraska

Jan 26, 2008 - 10:45 PM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Kansas continues to cruise through the early part of its Big 12 Conference schedule.

Darrell Arthur scored 18 points as the second-ranked Jayhawks used one of their most dominant halves in recent memory to crush Nebraska, 84-49, on Saturday.

Brandon Rush added 17 points for Kansas (20-0, 5-0 Big 12), which built a 44-15 halftime lead, holding the Cornhuskers to 21 percent shooting in the first half.

"Coach (Bill Self) wants us to get on defense early," Arthur said. "He wants us to jump on them and not let them get in a comfort zone"

The Jayhawks, who posted their 28th straight regular-season victory, have won their first five conference contests by an average of 23.2 points.

They also completed a season sweep of Nebraska while stretching their winning streak against the Cornhuskers to 10 games. Kansas defeated Nebraska, 79-58, in Lincoln on January 12.

The Jayhawks, however, could finally get tested on Wednesday, when they begin a two-game road trip at Kansas State (13-4).

"We didn't get off to an unbelievable start offensively, but we did defensively," Self said. "We really defended (Aleks) Maric on the post and did a good job on everybody but (Steve) Harley)."

Harley scored 16 points but the 6-11 Maric missed all six shots from the field and was held scoreless. Nebraska made just 6-of-29 shots in the first half.

The Cornhuskers (11-6, 0-4) are the only Big 12 team without a win in conference play.

"They have so much size and athleticism," Maric said. "They are sound defensively and very athletic. They are very talented team. They played hard, and that's the way it is."

"The guards did a great job diving down on him (Maric) and distracting him, trying to get the hall out of his hands," Arthur added.

Saturday's contest was over virtually after the opening tip, as the Jayhawks opened a 5-0 lead in the first minute.

After Harley's layup pulled Nebraska within 25-11 with 7:43 remaining, Kansas did not allow another basket until Ade Dagunduro's layup with nine seconds left in the half.

"They are just a much, much better team than we are," Nebraska coach Doc Sadler. "We almost have to play a perfect basketball game to beat them and we didn't do that."

After shooting 57 percent in the first half, the Jayhawks cooled off slightly in the second half, shooting 48.5 percent (16-of-33). They still finished at 52.5 percent (32-of-61).

Kansas made 9-of-16 3-pointers - compared to 3-of-15 for Nebraska - and also maintained a 40-22 edge in points in the paint.

"You have to get into the 70s to compete with them and we couldn't even get into the 50s," Sadler said.

With the outcome settled early, Self used his bench liberally, as all 17 players on the Kansas roster saw playing time. Darnell Jackson chipped in with 13 points and Sherron Collins added 10 off the bench.

Still, Self was unhappy with the Jayhawks' play in the second half.

"A lot of substitutions and different lineups, but I thought we were very sloppy in the second half, and I didn't expect that," Self said.

    --- --- -----
    NEBRASKA 15 34 49
    KANSAS (2) 44 40 84 FINAL

    Jan 26 3:39 PM


    Jan 26 2:35 PM