for this game

Aldrich, Kansas have few issues extending nation's longest home streak

Feb 8, 2009 - 4:30 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Cole Aldrich scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds as No. 24 Kansas continued its reign at home with a 78-67 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Mario Little had 13 points and Sherron Collins and freshman Tyshawn Taylor added 12 each for the Jayhawks (19-4, 8-0 Big 12), who extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 37 games.

Kansas also won its eighth consecutive game overall, remaining the only unbeaten team in the Big 12 Conference along with second-ranked Oklahoma.

"We did some good things today," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "It was a win. I wish we would've finished the game better, but we were able to get through it."

While the rowdy atmosphere at Allen Fieldhouse benefited the Jayhawks once again, it also proved to be a terror for the Cowboys, who dropped their 14th straight game here.

"The crowd got pretty loud, probably louder than any place I've ever played," said Oklahoma State swingman Marshall Moses, who scored 18 points and had eight rebounds.

Aldrich hit a pair of jumpers in the opening four minutes as the Jayhawks raced out to a 14-4 lead en route to leading throughout the contest.

Kansas went on to take a 37-24 advantage at the half before extending it to 20 points at 64-44 on a dunk by Travis Releford with 8:47 remaining.

For Oklahoma State, Saturday's game was just the latest in a series of contests in which it has gotten off to poor starts.

"These bad starts have become a common theme for our team," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. "We have done a lot to try to prepare for that not just vs. Kansas, but for us to get off to better starts. We have done stuff in practice and preparation-wise to get our guys mentally prepared to come out and get a better start.

"However, at some point, it does eat at you when you are not making shots. It does mess with your confidence a little bit and I think that it was the case."

While the Cowboys struggled to make shots, the Jayhawks went 46 percent (28-of-61) from the field with 11 3-pointers as they beat an opponent by double figures for the sixth time on their eight-game winning streak.

Kansas' perfect mark in league play will be put to the test when it travels to Missouri on Monday. The Tigers topped No. 17 Texas, 69-65, there on Wednesday.

"It gets harder from here," Self said. "We're as good as we can be as far as the league race goes. Certainly, I'm really looking forward to going to Columbia. It will probably be as difficult a setting as we've played in all year, but we need that."

Another big effort by Aldrich would help the Jayhawks' chances, as the 6-11 center went 6-of-12 from the field, pulled down 16 boards on the defensive end and blocked three shots.

"I was just being aggressive on the boards. I knew that they didn't have a lot of size," said Aldrich, who once again played with a protective mask on his face after having nose broken at Nebraska on January 28.

"I knew that we could get out in transition, so I just tried to grab every rebound and get it to our guards to try and get an easy basket that way."

Behind Aldrich, Kansas finished with a 46-33 advantage on the glass.

The only player with any experience for the Jayhawks coming into this season, Collins went 4-of-8 on 3-pointers and grabbed five rebounds.

The junior Collins also helped hold Oklahoma State guard Byron Eaton to eight points. The senior did hand out 10 assists against only two turnovers.

"He's a good guard. You can't take anything away from him," Collins said. "Today wasn't one of his good days. We started with him and I think I did a good job on him in the first half. In the second half he got going a little bit. Late in the game we lost concentration and let him do things. Overall, we did a good job on him as a team."

Obi Muonelo had 19 points and Marshall Moses chipped in 18 with eight rebounds for the Cowboys (14-8, 3-5), who lost for the fifth time in seven games.