Cut out the opening act, and it was a solid debut.
After missing 25 shots in the first half of its exhibition opener, Kansas University's women's basketball team recovered in the second to defeat Pittsburg State, 82-48.
The Jayhawks hit 53 percent of their shots, scored 58 points and seemed much more comfortable on the Allen Fieldhouse floor after halftime Sunday.
"We were just kind of tentative with things," sophomore guard Sade Morris, who scored 10 of her 15 points in the second, said of the slow start and a 29-18 KU lead at halftime. "We came out more aggressive (in the second), and you could see the difference."
Sophomore guard Danielle McCray, who led KU with 20 points said it was just opening-night jitters.
"Our first game, it was kind of shaky, and (we were) over-excited," McCray said. "Once we got settled down, it was fine."
KU went on an 8-0 run to open the second half and never looked back.
McCray and Morris were the only Jayhawks in double figures, and coach Bonnie Henrickson said the two should be able to lead her team offensively this year.
"Sade and Danielle have really kind of emerged," Henrickson said.
But Morris said it's not just about KU's 1-2 punch: "We might be the go-to players, but we've still got our team that we can lean on in case we don't have the shot that we need."
Morris was excited to show off her new-found confidence, which she picked up on the team's trip to Australia in the offseason.
"This was my first chance to show how much better I've gotten," she said. "Now when I come into a game, it's just a natural thing, just to be aggressive and attack the basket."
McCray said she hopes she can be a reliable scorer for KU throughout the year.
"I'll try," she said of scoring 20 points a night. "It would help the team a lot, definitely. But I've just got to go out there and play my game and help make my teammates better."
One Jayhawk who Henrickson thinks will get better as she gets more time on the floor is freshman forward Nicollette Smith, who scored nine points in 16 minutes off the bench. Henrickson said Smith is one of the best catch-and-shoot players she ever has coached.
"We've got to get more in for Nicollette to get shots, for a kid that shoots the ball that well," Henrickson said after Smith hit two of three three-pointers and three of four free throws. "She just strokes it. I am shocked when it doesn't go in, honestly."
Her coach said Smith will play the same role McCray did last year, a power forward who can play defense inside and offense outside : with a slight difference: "(Smith) shoots it quicker than Danielle, she shoots a lot quicker and deeper," Henrickson said.
Forward Taylor McIntosh led KU with 11 boards as the Jayhawks outrebounded the Gorillas, 55-31.
Jenna Brantley, a PSU freshman guard from Free State High, hit a three-pointer with five minutes left to make it 64-44. But she didn't take time to relish the shot. What was she thinking after hitting it?
"To get back on defense before I got yelled at," Brantley, who hit her only attempt in 11 minutes of playing time, said with a laugh.
The Jayhawks' final tune-up will come at 7 p.m. Thursday against Emporia State.