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Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rush’s return and Rodrick’s sparkle pace KU to 92-60 win

November 15, 2007, 6:31 p.m. Updated November 15, 2007, 8:38 p.m.

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Final, KU wins 92-60

Rodrick Stewart's night closed with a bang, coming from behind and elevating beyond the white box to swat away an open court Washburn layup. The ball ricocheted off the glass and turned into a three on the other end for Conner Teahan, bringing the Fieldhouse crowd to its feet one last time. Teahan hit one more three moments later for good measure. It followed Jeremy Case's first two points of the night from the top of the key.

Four Jayhawks - Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson - scored in double figures tonight, led by Darrell Arthur's 14 points to go with his five rebounds. Kaun and Jackson each ahd seven rebounds.

Brandon Rush was the story of the night, though, playing all 12 of his minutes before the half and resting in the second stanza. He was active and unafraid, finishing with seven points, three rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal. Rodrick Stewart also showed to be a valuable replacement in game one without Sherron Collins. He had nine points, four rebounds, four assists and an emphatic blocked shot at the end.

KU is off now until the night before Thanksgiving (next Wednesday), when the Jayhawks host Northern Arizona for the second straight year. Tip time will be 7 p.m.

3:58, second half, KU leads 78-52

Sasha Kaun missed the front end of a one-and-one for KU following the break, and Mario Scott answered for Washburn with two off the glass. Darrell Arthur then got himself to the line for a one-and-one, sinking both to give himself a game-high 14 points to go with four rebounds and two blocks.

Kaun then slammed two on a dish from Mario Chalmers, swinging on the rim and giving himself nine points on the night - all of which came in the second half. It was responded to with the third three-pointer of the night by Angel Santiago, making him the first Ichabod in double figures with 11 points.

Rodrick Stewart then hit a free throw to give himself seven points on the night, and he brought the crowd to its feet a minute later. Russell Robinson swatted a Santiago three look and fed Stewart in transition, and the senior slammed it home with one hand from there, putting him on the brink of double figures with nine.

Sasha Kaun made himself the third Jayhawk to get to double figures, hitting one of two free throws in the double bonus. He joined Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur as the only Jayhawks to score at least 10 so far tonight.

7:36, second half, KU leads 69-41

After the timeout, Tyrel Reed passed up a couple of open shots before getting the ball back deep and sinking his first three points of the game.

Angel Santiago hit his second three of the game on the other end off an inbounds pass. This came after both Reed and Cole Aldrich missed close looks inside. Aldrich missed again on the next trip down. Aldrich made up for it with a big blocked shot on Washburn's Kyle Snyder, sending the ball back with KU. This time, Aldrich drew a foul inside, but it was before he put up a shot. On the inbounds following the call, Tyrel Reed laid in two off the glass, giving him five points on the night.

Reed then saved a ball from being knocked out of bounds from his grip and hit yet another three to push KU's lead to 30 points for the first time on the night. Darnell Kimble quickly knocked it back down to 28, but Sasha Kaun then drew a trip to the line after gathering a Jeremy Case missed three going into the game's second-to-last full timeout.

11:45, second half, KU leads 61-36

Darrell Arthur hit a pair of free throws out of the timeout, giving him eight points on the night. They were responded with by an Angel Santiago three-pointer. Arthur slugged right back, getting himself in double figures yet again with two off the glass. Washburn's Andrew Meile then splashed in two on the baseline, making it 53-29, KU.

Arthur continued to score inside, next time coming thanks to an insid bounce pass from Mario Chalmers. Darnell Jakcson matched the effort on the defensive end, recording a steal and then dishing up court to Chalmers. He hit Russell Robinson, who dropped in three as KU has now shaken off its slow offensive start completely.

Santiago then followed a Darnell Kimble two with a transition layup off a deep feed from Grant Hargett to make it a 22-point game.

Rodrick Stewart woke up the deadened Fieldhouse crowd yet again, hitting his first three of the year with the shot clock expiring and giving himself six points on the night.

15:21, second half, KU leads 49-24

KU started the same five guys to begin the second half as it did the first.

Right away, Darrell Arthur went to work, with a turnaround off the glass to give himself six points.

James Williams scored a hoop-and-harm at the other end, giving him eight points thanks to the three-point play.

After Arthur missed his second shot attempt of the half, he gathered a defensive rebound on the other end, giving him four boards on the night, and fed Rodrick Stewart. Stewart slashed and hit Mario Chalmers for a runner, giving Stewart two assists on the night.

Russell Robinson then had a three-point-play chance of his own, but missed the accompanying free throw. Sasha Kaun took down the offensive board and scored. He then put in two more on KU's next offensive possession, giving him four points on the night. It led Washburn to call a full timeout down 44-22 with 17:43 to go in the game.

Kaun scored yet again out of the timeout, this time drawing a foul along with it. Unlike his first two attempts of the game, this one fell, giving Kaun the Jayhawks' last seven points to build a 47-24 lead.

On the next KU possession following a stiff defensive stand, Rodrick Stewart scored following a defensive rebound, giving him three points on the night at the 15:21 mark.

Halftime, KU leads 34-18

After a couple of sloppy possessions following the full break, Bill Self called for a 30-second timeout at the 1:30 mark.

Mario Chalmers scored the half's final points on a runner in the lane to end an ugly first period with KU up 34-18.

Darnell Jackson led all first half scorers with 10 points on an efficient showing from the field and Mario Chalmers added eight. But Brandon Rush was without question the first stanza's biggest story, scoring seven points, including a corner three, and filling up all other areas of the stat sheet in helping KU create some breathing room on the scoreboard before the half.

3:18, first half, KU leads 32-16

Brandon Rush missed the front end of a one-and-one out of the timeout, sending the ball back with Washburn. KU's defensive pressure, though, was able to force the Ichabods into a shot clock violation.

Darnell Jackson then poured in his fourth field goal of the game on an entry pass from Darrell Arfhur. It was answered with a three-pointer from Washburn's Darnell Kimble.

Darrell Arthur responded with a turnaround jumper on an entry feed from Brandon Rush, giving the sophomore his first field goal of the game. Mario Chalmers then dunked home two more in the open court thanks to a steal and pass from Rush, who has looked as active as ever.

Russell Robinson then swished home two after getting to the line for a one-and-one of his own, putting KU ahead 28-16.

The place really got loud then, as Brandon Rush went up high for a finger roll which missed off the back iron. He collected himself off the floor while the ball was scrambling around on the ground, picked it up and dumped in two off the glass, drawing a smile from Bill Self as he jogged back down the floor having now scored seven points.

Darnell Jackson then got to the free throw and hit a pair of attempts to give him 10 points and put KU up 32-16 with just under four minutes to go until the half.

On the other end, Rush blocked James Williams on a shot attempt with the clock winding down, but his feed to Darnell Jackson went unscored upon. KU went to the half's final break still up 16.

7:25, first half, KU leads 20-13

Aldrich missed the free throw after the break, making KU 1-for-7 from the line to start the game. Rodrick Stewart gathered the board and went up, only to get himself to the line as well. Stewart made one of two, rattling in the back end of the pair.

After getting a rebound of his own, Darnell Jackson came down to take a dish from Tyrel Reed and hit another mid-range jumper, giving him six points on the night.

Stewart then gathered a miss by Mario Scott, but KU couldn't score on the other end. Stewart went down for a moment after getting poked in the eye on a three look, and during the quick hiatus, Rush and Jackson took a seat on the bench for Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur.

James Williams banked in two for Washburn on the other end to pull the Ichabods within two points, and the visitors had a chance to tie it on the way back down after a Kyle Snyder board, but a long pass was too high, sending it back with KU.

Arthur got to the line after getting hooked spinning away from the hoop, hitting both free throws to extend KU's lead to 17-13. On the way back down, Washburn called a 30-second timeout at the 8:23 mark.

Rush checked back in for Stewart after the senior guard was whistled for his second foul. Washburn then missed a pair of shots, leading to a Darrell Arthur board. On the other end, Rush casually stroked a three from the corner to put KU up by seven. He was hacked then on a fastbreak while driving on a dish from Russell Robinson. Rush got up after crashing to the deck, heading to the sideline for a full timeout.

11:14, first half, KU leads 12-11

KU and Washburn traded empty possessions out of the gate, and Darnell Jackson then put KU back on top 8-6 with a jumper from atop the key, giving him four points so far.

After Brady Sisk was called for traveling once coming down with his own shot that was blocked, Darrell Arthur got himself to the free throw line on the other end with a spin move inside. He missed both of his free throws, making KU 1-6 from the stripe to start the night.

James Williams then hit a three for Washburn after the Jayhawks failed to rebound a pair of Washburn misses. Grant Hargett tried to put the 'bods up by four with another three look, but it was rebounded by Brandon Rush. Rush then scored his first points of the season on a leaner in the lane to give KU a 10-9 advantage.

After a 30-second KU timeout, Darnell Kimble scored for Washburn off a James Williams miss. Mario Scott then stole a ball at midcourt and went the other way, but missed and Rush grabbed another board. This time, he kicked it out to Tyrel Reed, who missed a three. The shot was gathered by Cole Aldrich, who put it in while being fouled, leading to the game's second full break.

15:53, first half, game tied 6-6

KU's Russell Robinson took control of the opening tip, but an entry pass early on to Darrell Arthur went off the big man's fingers and out of bounds.

Washburn's Mario Scott missed a driving layup on the other end, and Sasha Kaun's rebound was sent to Rodrick Stewart. Making his second career start, Stewart slashed to the lane and then flipped the ball out to Mario Chalmers for a three and the game's first points.

Olathe South product Andrew Meile answered right back with a three-pointer atop the key.

Scott came back down and earned his way to the free throw line, hitting one of two to put Washburn up 4-3.

The Ichabods then took the ball back after Sasha Kaun was blocked going back up with an offensive board, but Chalmers corralled a board of his own on the other end.

Kaun got the ball back inside on the other end and was fouled on his way up to the rim. His first free throw clanked off the back iron, and the second one did the same. While trying to grab the board, Kaun was whistled for his second foul at the 17:53 mark and set down in place of Darnell Jackson.

Mario Scott then scored two more on a backdoor feed to put Washburn up by three.

Darrell Arthur was partially blocked on the other end, but Jackson, fresh into the game, put back up a short jumper which curled in off the front of the rim to make it a one-point game.

The crowd woke up at the 16:35 mark as Brandon Rush stepped up off the bench. Moments later, he checked in after a foul in transition. After Chalmers made the first shot, Rush checked in in place of Rodrick Stewart at the 16:17 mark. Chalmers' second free throw missed, leaving the game tied at 6-6.

Pregame

Kansas University's third opponent of this regular season - Washburn - only carries a Division-II tag with it on the trip down I-70 from Topeka. But for the Jayhawks, the game carries added significance, as the return of junior guard Brandon Rush to the floor could come as early as tonight, when KU and Washburn tip off at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.

Rush looks the part of a player right now preparing to play rather than sit, doing more during warmups than he has prior to either of the Jayhawks' first four contests, including two exhibitions. He's also sporting ankle braces tonight, which he has not done yet this season.

Kansas coach Bill Self pointed out yesterday that Rush's return tonight has not been ruled out. One Jayhawk out of action, however, is sophomore guard Sherron Collins, in street clothes tonight on the bench following surgery earlier this week to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.

The Jayhawks will need all the guard help they can get against a group of Ichabods featuring just one starter taller than 6-foot-5. It presents a favorable defensive matchup for Self, who plans on starting senior Rodrick Stewart in Collins' place.

For Washburn, this is the team's regular season opener, following exhibition losses to UNLV and UMKC. Junior forward Darnell Kimble led Washburn in scoring through two exhibition contests, averaging 12.5 points per game. Senior guard Andrew Meile, an Olathe product, scored 10.5 points per game.

KU last played on Sunday, wrapping up a stretch of three games in six days, by ousting UMKC 85-62 in Allen Fieldhouse. Mario Chalmers led all scorers with 23 points in that tilt, including a career-high six three-pointers made.

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