Archive for Thursday, February 8, 1996


February 8, 1996


Halfway through the Big Eight basketball season, Kansas owns a perfect 7-0 record.

"What they've done the first seven games, you can tie it but you can't beat it," KU coach Roy Williams said after the No. 3-ranked Jayhawks' 89-70 victory over second-place Iowa State on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

The victory was KU's 12th in a row and 19th in 20 games. Also, it marked the Jayhawks' 14th consecutive victory against the Cyclones in Lawrence and 26th straight homecourt win.

The Jayhawks last started 7-0 in the league in 1974.

"I congratulated them," Williams said of his players. "I told them to enjoy the heck out of it until we start practicing again."

KU big men Scot Pollard and Raef LaFrentz, who accepted feeds from Jacque Vaughn and Jerod Haase (eight assists apiece) all night, blew away the Cyclones.

Pollard scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while LaFrentz added 17 points and 10 boards. Also, forward Paul Pierce contributed 14 points.

LaFrentz and Pollard had four blocks apiece and B.J. Williams three as KU registered a school-record 14 rejections.

"I went in the locker room after I found out and I told the guys," Williams said. KU had 13 blocks against Montana State in 1976. "Without Greg (Ostertag), you don't think of this team as much able to do that. It was a good team defense. They shot 34 percent the second half."

The Cyclones, who trailed 40-36 at halftime, made 11 of 32 shots the final half. KU canned 17 of its final 26 shots for 65.4 percent.

Pollard scored 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting as KU outscored the Cyclones, 49-34.

"It might have been our best half of the year, even better than it was against UCLA," Williams said. KU outscored the Bruins, 59-29, in an 85-70 victory in December at Allen Fieldhouse.

ISU's Kelvin Cato, who burned KU for 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting the first half, went 0-for-2 in the second.

"He was half of my discussion at halftime," Williams said of the 6-11 junior, who escaped low for violent dunks. "We made it more difficult on him the second half and Willoughby (Dedric) was more aggressive in trying to score."

Willoughby, who was shadowed by Haase, Jacque Vaughn and Billy Thomas, scored 19 points the second half on 6-of-12 shooting.

KU's offense clicked during a 15-0 spurt that upped a 52-48 lead to 67-48 with 9:19 left. T.J. Pugh opened with an inside bucket off a feed from Haase. Then, Vaughn hit a three-pointer, followed by a pair of Thomas threes. Pollard finished the burst with two inside baskets.

The Cylones cut the gap to 11 -- 71-60 -- with 6:44 left. However LaFrentz, Pierce and Williams answered with baskets and KU led, 79-62, at 4:11

"We played very well against an outstanding team," Williams said of the Cyclones, 16-5 overall, 5-2 in the league. "I'm even more impressed with them now after we played them and I was impressed watching them on tape. Tonight it was our size against their quickness and tonight size won out."

KU outrebounded ISU, 39-27.

"We got the ball inside the second half and got great shots and at the same time Jerod did the defensive job on Willoughby," Williams said. "Billy made a couple big threes and B.J. did some nice things off the bench also." Williams had five rebounds, three blocks and six points.

Iowa State made 12 of 20 free throws to KU's 15 of 18. The Cyclones entered with 563 free throws to their foes' 288.

"We were good. Shoot, I don't care how you slice it up or how much I talk about it, we were daggum good," Williams said.

KU next faces Missouri at 3:05 p.m. Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

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