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Kansas defeats Central Michigan, 68-63

  • 2:30 p.m., Nov. 28, 2013
  • St. Thomas, Virgin Islands,

Originally published November 28, 2013 at 05:48p.m., updated November 28, 2013 at 11:54p.m.

KU women win Jam opener

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— Senior guard Markisha Hawkins had a career-high 16 points, and junior forward Chelsea Gardner had a double-double — 16 points, 14 rebounds — as Kansas University overcame an early 11-point deficit to upend Central Michigan, 68-63, in the Jayhawks’ opening game of the Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Thursday.

Junior guard Natalie Knight added 10 points for KU (4-1) and a season-high six rebounds.

Crystal Bradford led Central Michigan (2-2) with 19 points, and Jessica Green added 15.

CMU bolted to a 14-3 lead early and held a double-digit lead as late as 21-11 with 11:04 to play in the first half before Kansas rallied to forge a 32-all halftime tie.

The Jayhawks gradually built a lead that reached a high of seven, at 64-57 with 1:44 to play.

Kansas hit just 38.3 percent of its field goals (23 of 60), but held CMU to 36.1 percent (26 of 72).

Kansas will meet Xavier at 2:30 p.m. today in the tournament’s second round.

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