J.R. Giddens didn't start Kansas University's men's basketball game against Emporia State on Sunday, but he certainly made his presence felt in the first half.
Giddens scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting before halftime, helping the Jayhawks to a 63-30 lead over the Hornets at intermission.
Giddens finished with a team-high 22 points as Kansas routed Emporia State, 115-70, in the season-opening exhibition game at Allen Fieldhouse.
"I thought we played very well," KU head coach Bill Self said. "I thought we guarded hard. Everything looks good when you make shots, but we shared the ball well.
"Emporia State wasn't very big, but they played hard. They scrapped and ran motion, which was hard to guard."
Emporia State kept the game close early on, trailing by as few as six points, 25-19, midway through the first half, but KU finished the period on a 24-4 run over the final six minutes. Giddens scored nine straight points during that spurt.
"I think this is going to be a spurt team," Self said. "It was a good run to finish the half."
The Jayhawks extended their halftime lead after intermission even while trying out various combinations of players on the court.
Wayne Simien had 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Michael Lee added 11 points and Keith Langford scored 15 points. Christian Moody had seven points, and Aaron Miles had two points and 12 assists. Nick Bahe added six points on two three-pointers, and Jeff Hawkins had eight points.
Four of KU's five freshmen scored against the Hornets. Russell Robinson had 11 points, Darnell Jackson had six points and eight boards, Sasha Kaun scored four points, and C.J. Giles scored six points, five rebounds and three blocks.
"They weren't too starstruck, and I think they played very well, also," Self said of the freshmen.
The Jayhawks were 46-of-73 shooting, 14-of-28 from three-point range and 9-of-13 from the free throw line. The Hornets finished 27-of-71 from the field, 6-of-20 from long distance, and 9-of-13 from the charity stripe. KU outrebounded Emporia State, 46-29.
All stats unofficial.