Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Playing inside of Allen Fieldhouse for the first time this season, the Kansas men’s basketball team proved there’s no place like home.
The Jayhawks led by 15 points within the first five minutes and never looked back in an eventual 100-54 victory over Pittsburg State in the team’s second exhibition game of the preseason. Four players scored at least 15 points, while Udoka Azubuike (17 points, 14 rebounds) and Lagerald Vick (15 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles.
Sophomore Malik Newman was the team’s leading scorer with 19 points, drilling 7 of his 10 shots including a 3-of-5 mark from behind the three-point line. Svi Mykhailiuk added 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting.
The Jayhawks led by as many as 53 points in the middle of the second half, using their speed and talent advantages to put on a show for the sold out crowd inside of Allen Fieldhouse on Halloween.
Kansas shot 55 percent from the floor, including a 60.6 percent clip in the second half. Freshman Billy Preston was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field with four rebounds in eight minutes.
View a gallery of images from the Jayhawks' exhibition game against the PIttsburg State Gorillas at Allen Fieldhouse.
Here is a look back at the action:
• The game turned when: With a small lineup, the Jayhawks went on a 22-0 run in the opening minutes. After being challenged by coach Bill Self to play better on defense and improve their rebounding, they punished Pitt State for each missed shot.
Billy Preston, playing center, highlighted the run with six points while Vick and Devonte Graham drilled 3-pointers.
• Offensive highlight: Looking to make a strong impression in the first few minutes, Preston caught a pass from Malik Newman following a steal and weaved his way through a couple of defenders.
The freshman from Oak Hill Academy completed the drive with a one-handed slam from the right side of the lane. Preston let out a roar as he trotted back down the court, much to the delight of the Allen Fieldhouse crowd.
• Defensive highlight: In 25 minutes off of the bench, Mitch Lightfoot wasn’t afraid to protect the middle of the lane. The sophomore forward recorded a team-high three blocks, including two in the second half.
• Key stat: Second-chance points. Challenged to attack the glass, the Jayhawks grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and turned them into 16 second-chance points. Vick grabbed five offensive boards, finishing a few of them with rim-rocking dunks.
On the other side of the floor, Pitt State had eight offensive boards and seven second-chance points.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will complete their slate of exhibition games when they play Fort Hays State at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Allen Fieldhouse. The regular season will begin three days afterward.
— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.