Jayhawks embarrass No. 19 'Cats


Kansas' Russell Robinson, front, collides with Kentucky's Lukasz Obrzut on a drive to the basket during the first half of the unranked Jayhawks' 73-46 win against No. 19 Kentucky on Saturday in Lawrence, Kan. Kentucky's Patrick Sparks, left, and Kansas' Sasha Kaun watch the play.

The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
LAWRENCE, Kan. - It might be another 16 seasons before Kentucky comes back to Allen Fieldhouse.
Before Saturday, the Wildcats hadn't visited Lawrence since getting blown out 150-95 on Dec. 9, 1989 - still a school scoring record for the Jayhawks and the second-worst loss in Kentucky's history.
This time, the Wildcats left town on the short end of the biggest defeat in Tubby Smith's nine seasons as coach - a 73-46 loss in which they shot just 24 percent from the field and didn't have an assist until the second half.
"We just got outworked today," guard Ravi Moss said. "We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and see if we have any heart. They beat us to loose balls. They were tougher than we were today."
Freshman Brandon Rush had career highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds, his first double-double for Kansas (9-4).
"I've been real guilty of laying back, taking days off and not playing to the best of my abilities," Rush said. "This was a big game for us, so I had to turn it on."
Kansas coach Bill Self also had noticed his young star giving less than his all in earlier games.
"Brandon, as everyone knows, is very talented," Self said. "But he had yet to put a game together where he has excelled in all areas: shooting the basketball, creating off the bounce, rebounding and being aggressive. Previously, he had been great in two of the four, but today he was great in all four areas."
It was the lowest-scoring game for Kentucky (10-4) since a 46-45 loss to Michigan State on Dec. 16, 2000. The Wildcats' only other loss of more than 20 points under Smith came earlier this season, a 79-53 defeat at Indiana on Dec. 10.
The Wildcats were 15-for-62 from the field on Saturday, missing their first 13 shots from long range and not recording an assist until Rajan Rondo fed Moss for Kentucky's first 3-pointer with 14:20 left in the game.
They finished with five assists, three by Rondo.
"Nobody was screening and nobody was passing," Smith said. "We just dribbled it around and never got in our offense. When you do that, you have no chance of winning."
Russell Robinson added 12 points and C.J. Giles added 10 for Kansas, which won its sixth straight, broke Kentucky's four-game winning streak and beat a ranked team for the first time in three tries this season.
"Today, we did a good job of showing the fans we can do it," Robinson said. "We played a good game against a good team. Now, we've got to keep it up."
The Jayhawks led 41-19 at halftime behind 16 points from Rush, and were up by as many as 32 points in the second half.
Kentucky missed 17 of its first 20 shots, going 0-for-7 from outside the arc over that span, and didn't break into double digits until Joe Crawford connected from the lane with just over 6 minutes left in the first half.
Kansas led 25-10 after Crawford's basket - and Rush had single-handedly outscored Kentucky 11-10. The Wildcats didn't get ahead of him for good, 18-16, until Rondo hit two free throws with 1:14 left in the first half.
"You would think one of our players would read the scouting report and make him go left one time, but that didn't happen all day," Smith said. "That said, he's a great player."
Rondo and Crawford had nine points each for Kentucky - the first time this year the Wildcats have gone without a double-digit scorer.
"We just cut the head off of their team, and that was Rondo," Rush said. "He couldn't get anything."
With the score tied at 4 almost four minutes into the game, Rush tracked down an offensive rebound after a flurry of misses and scored.
He followed that up with a 3-pointer on Kansas' next possession, Mario Chalmers added an assist and a layup in quick succession, and the Jayhawks were off on a 19-4 run that put them up 25-8 with just over 6 minutes left in the half.
Had the Jayhawks made a few more defensive rebounds, Kentucky would have scored just four points in the first 15 minutes. Three of the Wildcats' first five field goals and their first two free throws came after they were able to rebound their own misses.
  • NO. 2 CONNECTICUT 67, LSU 66: Hilton Armstrong scored six of his 11 points in the final four minutes to help host Connecticut rally from 14 points down.
    In foul trouble for most of the first half, Armstrong came through down the stretch for the second-ranked Huskies (12-1) against the physical Tigers (8-5). His dunk with 3:28 left put UConn ahead 61-59, the Huskies' first lead since the 17:45 mark in the first half. But LSU tied it on Tyrus Thomas' bucket on the next possession.
    The Huskies leaned on the 6-foot-11 Armstrong again, who scored inside and gave UConn the lead for good. He followed it up with a soft hook on the Huskies' next possession for a 65-61 lead. After the teams traded baskets, Darrel Mitchell, who led the Tigers with 21 points, hit two of three free throws with 9.4 seconds left and the Huskies' lead was 67-66.
    After Marcus Williams missed both free throws on the next UConn possession, Mitchell's 3-point attempt at the buzzer banged off the backboard.
    Rudy Gay finished with 19 points for UConn and Rashad Anderson scored 10 and had a team-high 10 rebounds as the Huskies bounced back from a 15-point loss at Marquette on Tuesday.
    Thomas finished with 15 points for the Tigers. Glen Davis, LSU's bruising 310-pound center, and Tasmin Mitchell had 12 points each.
    The Huskies had their hands full early with Davis in the paint. He drew a crowd each time he touched the ball, and although he had just four points in the first half, he had three assists. Garrett Temple and Thomas scored consecutive baskets inside each from a Davis assist to push the LSU lead to 29-19 with 5:45 left in the period.
    It was part of a 6-0 run that ended with Thomas' dunk that gave the Tigers their largest lead at 14 and drew an immediate timeout from UConn. The Connecticut fans broke into boos as their team trotted to the bench for the timeout and that prompted coach Jim Calhoun to look up into the stands and motion for the crowd to boo more.
  • MISSISSIPPI 71, ALABAMA 61: Dwayne Curtis had 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead streaking Mississippi in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams at Alabama.
    The Rebels (11-3) have won five games in a row and snapped an eight-game losing streak at Coleman Coliseum dating back to 1998.
    The Crimson Tide (7-6) led by as many as 10 points late in the first half, but went into a funk after leading scorer Chuck Davis was lost for the game with an injured right knee.
    The extent of his injury wasn't immediately made available.
  • VANDERBILT 74, AUBURN 50: Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings felt his team was due for a good shooting performance, and the Commodores delivered at home.
    Shan Foster hit six of nine three-pointers and scored 20 points for Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
    "When you shoot the ball well, your team looks a lot better," said Stallings, whose team shot 53 percent from the floor and 60 percent from three.
    Julian Terrell added 13 points for Vanderbilt (10-2, 1-0), which won its fourth straight home game. DeMarre Carroll and Derrick Byars chipped in 10.
    Frank Tolbert and freshman Quantez Robertson led Auburn (8-4, 0-1) with 12 points and Ronny LeMelle scored 11.
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