Emporia State men's basketball coach David Moe's game plan for Saturday night's game against Kansas University was to pack the lane against the taller Jayhawks, forcing KU to win with jump shots.
Kansas had a different plan, scoring 32 of its 64 first-half points from the paint and hitting five of 11 three-pointers before halftime en route to a 113-61 rout in Allen Fieldhouse.
"We did all we could to keep it out of the paint," Moe said, "and we gave them outside shots that they kept hitting. I kind of let them get going."
Emporia State couldn't get anything going, falling behind 28-5 with 13:30 left in the first half. The Hornets (4-4) tried to get back in the game with three-pointers, but were just 4-of-17 from behind the arc in the first half and 12-of-38 for the game.
The 38 three-point attempts were just two short of the record by a Kansas opponent - 40, by Kentucky in a 150-95 Kansas victory in Dec. 1989 - and tied Arizona's attempts on Dec. 1, 2001, for the second most since Roy Williams started coaching Kansas.
"We kind of panicked, fired up threes and made it worse," Moe said. "We do shoot a lot of threes, but you can't come down, make two or three passes, and shoot threes when a team is getting layups against you."
The Hornets wanted to establish an inside presence, but made just two baskets - layups by Shawn Herrman - in the lane because of the Jayhawks' defensive pressure down low.
"KU's a good defensive team and we're not a big team," senior guard Robbie Ballard said. "It was difficult to get an inside game going, and sometimes we settled for a three."
The three-pointers somewhat quieted a raucous crowd that was riled up by Kansas dunks, but it wasn't enough to let the Hornets back in the game.
"I wish we would have hit a lot more to quiet them down more," junior guard Thomas Vincent said. "Unfortunately, tonight a lot of things didn't go down."
An inability to get the ball inside and missed three-pointers weren't Emporia State's only problems. The Hornets also set season lows for a Kansas opponent with 23 first-half points, a .339 field-goal percentage, nine two-point field goals made and 24 two-point attempts.
They also tied KU opponent season lows with eight free-throw attempts, seven offensive rebounds, 28 total rebounds and five steals, and were the first Jayhawk foe this season to not record a block.
"We weren't mentally ready for a battle and they were," Moe said. "That's why they're always one of the top 10 teams in the country. You could tell we were happy to be in Allen Fieldhouse instead of trying to win. That's why they just whooped us."
Ballard led Emporia State with 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-13 on three-pointers.
Ballard said the Hornets didn't let the score affect the way they played.
"I think we've got good character on this team so it's not that difficult," Ballard said of playing while losing by a large margin. "We're not always playing for the score. At those times, we're playing to get better."
Moe, who has known Williams for 25 years, made his first return to Allen Fieldhouse as a head coach. He was a graduate assistant on Kansas' 1988 national championship team and was an assistant at Colorado from 1993 to 2001 - when the Buffaloes went 0-17 against Kansas.
"I'm happy for coach Williams because he's getting his team ready for the Big 12," Moe said. "Hopefully, we can bounce back."