LAWRENCE, Kan. — A new college basketball season tipped off on Friday night, and the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks pulled away late for a 74-55 victory over the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks (1-0, 1-0 home) came out on fire, and quickly jumped out to an 11-0 lead on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe. The Redhawks managed to limit the bleeding however, and Kansas took a 32-17 lead into the half.
KU struggled to hit shots early, as they shot just 28% in the first half.
The Redhawks (0-1, 0-1 away) went on an 20-11 run to start the second half, and cut the deficit to 43-37 with 12:10 left to play. That’s as close as they would get. Kansas eventually pulled away and finished the night with a field goal percentage of 38.7%.
The Hawks had a miserable night beyond the arc, finishing the night 2-21 from three-point range. KU senior center Jeff Withey led the team in scoring with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks. Freshman forward Perry Ellis added 15 points and eight boards.
KU outrebounded the Redhawks 46-32.
Kansas takes on the 14th-ranked Michigan State Spartans in Atlanta, Ga. on Tuesday night.