LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas Jayhawks began their title defense in their season opener against the Omaha Mavericks on Monday night.

They would do it without their head coach Bill Self, who was suspended for the first four games of the season. Norm Roberts will be leading the Jayhawks in Self’s absence.

Kansas burst out to a 16-3 run early in the first half to take a 21-10 lead. The Jayhawks went into halftime up 46-33.

Omaha would get back within seven in the second half before Kansas went on a 10-0 run to go up 60-43.

The Jayhawks would not look back after that, leading by as much as 28. They outrebounded the Mavericks 43-28 and held them 38% from their field while shooting 52%.

Freshman guard Grady Dick had a strong debut for Kansas, scoring 23 points along with going 4-6 from three. Jalen Wilson also had a solid all-around game, securing a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also had seven assists.

Bobby Pettiford Jr. pitched in 13 points off the bench and Dajuan Harris Jr. contributed 11 points and a game-high eight assists.

Kansas will next face North Dakota State on Thursday at home at 7 p.m.