No. 1 Jayhawks surge in second half, top Washburn 79-52

KU Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. Recap from KU Athletics

Jayhawk juniors Dedric Lawson and Udoka Azubuike combined for 35 points, while senior Lagerald Vick added 16 of his own to help No. 1 Kansas sprint past the Washburn Ichabods, 79-52, Thursday night in exhibition play. The Jayhawks outscored the visitors 44-24 over the final 18 minutes of the contest to complete close out their 29th-consecutive exhibition victory.

The Jayhawks opened the game scoring six field goals on six assists. Kansas' unselfishness continued as it ended the first half with 12 assists on its 13 field goals, helping the squad build a 35-21 advantage as the two squads head to the locker room. VIck had the hot hand early, knocking down a pair of first-half threes as he tallied 10 points to lead the team at the break.

It was a less than stellar start to the second frame for the Jayhawks as the Ichabods stormed out of the intermission on a fast 7-0 spurt to cut the KU lead to seven points, 35-28, less than two minutes into the half. From there, Kansas locked down defensively and kicked off a huge run to gain back the momentum. An Azubuike dunk sparked a 33-5 Kansas run over the next eight minutes to help the Jayhawks gain a 23-point edge just over midway through the half.

A key to the KU run was precision passing, which led to open looks for Azubuike, who showed why he led the NCAA in field goal percentage a season ago, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the field. His dunks weren't the only method of scoring for the junior center as he managed to knock down five of his six attempts from the free throw line.

The second-half surge was also fueled by some torrid Kansas outside shooting. In a five minute stretch early in the second frame, KU connected on six 3-pointers from three different Jayhawks as Lawson, Vick and freshman Quentin Grimes each knocked down shots from beyond the arc.

For the second-straight outing, Lawson led all scorers with 18 points, going 4-4 from three-point range. Azuibuke and Vick showed the Kansas depth as they totaled 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Grimes led all Jayhawks with eight rebounds and was joined by four of his teammates to pull down five or more boards on the night.

KU ended the game with 23 assists on its 30 field goals. Sophomore Marcus Garrett led all players with five assists., with redshirt-sophomore Charlie Moore and Grimes tallying four dimes apiece.

That crisp passing led to a field goal percentage of 49 percent (30-61), and a three-point percentage of 42 percent (11-26), as the Jayhawks closed out exhibition play with a 79-52 victory.