for this game

Chalmers helps Kansas hold off pesky Detroit

Dec 29, 2006 - 8:07 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Although the meetings were two decades apart, Kansas once again had trouble scoring against Detroit. Mario Chalmers proved to be one of the only exceptions.

Chalmers scored 22 points as 10th-ranked Kansas notched its fifth straight victory with a hard-fought 63-43 victory over Detroit.

Although they improved to 3-0 all-time against the Titans, the Jayhawks (11-2) once again had to scrap for the triumph. In the only other previous meeting between the teams on January 6, 1986, Kansas squeezed out a 60-51 triumph.

"I am not leaving here disappointed, but I am leaving here thinking, 'Why can't we crack people when we get an opportunity?" Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Holding just a 26-16 advantage at the break, Kansas was able to extend that lead early in the second half as Chalmers hit a 3-pointer and Brandon Rush added a jumper to make it 36-23 with 14:44 remaining.

"Mario was terrific," Self said. "I thought Brandon showed a lot of courage in the second half. He was as sick as a dog."

However, Detroit managed to rally, closing within 41-37 on a shot from the arc by Jon Goode with 8:57. But Julian Wright responded with two layups and Chalmers added a dunk later to cap an 11-2 spurt that rebuilt Kansas' lead to 52-40 with 4:50 left.

The Titans got no closer than nine thereafter.

Chalmers finished 7-of-12 from the field, tying a career high with four 3-pointers.

"I think that Chalmers was the difference," Detroit coach Perry Watson said. "He made big shot after big shot and really played great defense."

Rush scored all nine of his points in the second half for the Jayhawks, who shot 49 percent (22-of-45), including 8-of-16 on 3-pointers.

Wright, the team's third-leading scorer and top rebounder, finished with five points and five boards for Kansas, which held just a 36-32 advantage in rebounding.

"Coach was pretty upset at halftime," Wright said, referring to his team's rebounding struggles. "He told us that we weren't crashing the glass. We have a lot of confidence in our offense and hitting shots, but when our shots aren't falling, we need to put ourselves in positions to hit the glass and get rebounds."

Brandon Cotton finished with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting for Detroit (3-9), which failed to string together consecutive wins after snapping a four-game losing streak on Friday.

    --- --- -----
    DETROIT 16 27 43
    KANSAS (10) 26 37 63 FINAL

    Dec 28 10:05 PM

    DETROIT 16

    Dec 28 8:56 PM