Emporia State menÃ¢ÂÂs basketball coach David MoeÃ¢ÂÂs game plan for Saturday nightÃ¢ÂÂs 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.
Ã¢ÂÂWe did all we could to keep it out of the paint,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said, Ã¢ÂÂand we gave them outside shots that they kept hitting. I kind of let them get going.Ã¢ÂÂ
Emporia State couldnÃ¢ÂÂt 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 ArizonaÃ¢ÂÂs attempts on Dec. 1, 2001, for the second most since Roy Williams started coaching Kansas.
Ã¢ÂÂWe kind of panicked, fired up threes and made it worse,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said. Ã¢ÂÂWe do shoot a lot of threes, but you canÃ¢ÂÂt come down, make two or three passes, and shoot threes when a team is getting layups against you.Ã¢ÂÂ
The Hornets wanted to establish an inside presence, but made just two baskets - layups by Shawn Herrman - in the lane because of the JayhawksÃ¢ÂÂ defensive pressure down low.
Ã¢ÂÂKUÃ¢ÂÂs a good defensive team and weÃ¢ÂÂre not a big team,Ã¢ÂÂ senior guard Robbie Ballard said. Ã¢ÂÂIt was difficult to get an inside game going, and sometimes we settled for a three.Ã¢ÂÂ
The three-pointers somewhat quieted a raucous crowd that was riled up by Kansas dunks, but it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt enough to let the Hornets back in the game.
Ã¢ÂÂI wish we would have hit a lot more to quiet them down more,Ã¢ÂÂ junior guard Thomas Vincent said. Ã¢ÂÂUnfortunately, tonight a lot of things didnÃ¢ÂÂt go down.Ã¢ÂÂ
An inability to get the ball inside and missed three-pointers werenÃ¢ÂÂt Emporia StateÃ¢ÂÂs 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.
Ã¢ÂÂWe werenÃ¢ÂÂt mentally ready for a battle and they were,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said. Ã¢ÂÂThatÃ¢ÂÂs why theyÃ¢ÂÂre 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. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs why they just whooped us.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ballard led Emporia State with 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-13 on three-pointers.
Ballard said the Hornets didnÃ¢ÂÂt let the score affect the way they played.
Ã¢ÂÂI think weÃ¢ÂÂve got good character on this team so itÃ¢ÂÂs not that difficult,Ã¢ÂÂ Ballard said of playing while losing by a large margin. Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre not always playing for the score. At those times, weÃ¢ÂÂre playing to get better.Ã¢ÂÂ
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 KansasÃ¢ÂÂ 1988 national championship team and was an assistant at Colorado from 1993 to 2001 - when the Buffaloes went 0-17 against Kansas.
Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm happy for coach Williams because heÃ¢ÂÂs getting his team ready for the Big 12,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said. Ã¢ÂÂHopefully, we can bounce back.Ã¢ÂÂ