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Jayhawks win fourth straight, rout Jackson State

Dec 6, 2008 - 11:15 PM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Sherron Collins scored 17 points as 25th-ranked Kansas overcame a slow start to post a 86-62 victory over Jackson State on Saturday.

An extremely inexperienced team after winning the national championship last season, the Jayhawks showed some of their youth early and held just a 36-31 lead at the half before pulling away over the final 20 minutes.

Collins, who made five 3-pointers, led five players in double figures as the Jayhawks (7-1) won their fourth straight since suffering their first loss of the season.

Grant Maxey scored 19 points and Jeremy Caldwell 14 for Jackson State (1-8), which entered this season as the favorite in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Tigers are in the midst of a stretch in which they play their first 14 games on the road.

"They wore us down. We've been on the road since the season began, so naturally we're tired right now, but give Kansas credit," Jackson State coach Travester Anderson said. "They're a good team. I've been voting for them to be (ranked) a little higher. I think they're really a No. 15 or No. 16 team in the top 25 right now. I think they're a good team. They shoot the ball well and they rebound well. They play hard."

Using a 2-3 zone defense, the Tigers stayed close the entire first half against the bigger and more athletic Jayhawks.

"They (Jackson State) got off to a great start," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "They were up 10-7. Then we played great for the next six or eight minutes."

However, the Jayhawks slowly began to assert themselves. Sophomore Tyrel Reed made two free throws and a drilled a 3-pointer as the lead grew to 56-40 with just under 14 minutes remaining.

"The second half, we came out and made some shots," Self said. "We still didn't guard them well, but we played a little bit better."

Collins, who added five assists, five rebounds and three steals, scored 12 points after the break to help the Jayhawks keep the lead. He had struggled in the first half, making just 2-of-9 shots.

"The zone was really tough; I don't want to take anything away from it," Collins said. "It was a nice zone. They did a good job of getting out and pressuring, but we didn't make shots. We just have to make shots early in the game."