Kansas Trounces Colorado Behind Breakout Performance from McLemore

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 08:  Ben McLemore #23 of the Kansas Jayhawks goes up for a shot during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Allen Fieldhouse on December 8, 2012 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas Jayhawks welcomed an old foe from the Big 12, the Colorado Buffaloes of the Pac-12, to Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon and had no problem dispensing of their visitors, 90-54. 

From the opening tipoff, freshman guard Ben McLemore took over the game, and he ended up just one point short of his career high with 24 points. 

McLemore and the Jayhawks were dominant from the beginning of the game as they went on a 16-3 run in the first five minutes. 

During the first five minutes, the Jayhawks caused five turnovers, two of which were caused by starting power forward Kevin Young. 

Young and Travis Releford were the driving forces of the dominant defense played by Bill Self's team, but when it came to the offensive end, it was all about McLemore. 

McLemore scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half, with eight of those points coming from the free-throw line. 

The freshman guard from St. Louis was one of four Jayhawks starters to score in double digits; the only starter that didn't was center Jeff Withey. 

McLemore could have easily broken his career high of 25 points, but the services of the freshman guard and the rest of the starting five were not needed after the eight-minute mark of the second half. 

At that point in the game, the Jayhawks were up by 31 points and Self decided to give his seldom-used bench players some time out on the floor.

Amongst those players to earn some minutes in the final eight minutes of the second half were Evan Manning, son of Kansas legend Danny Manning, and the coach's son, Tyler Self. 

Self walked on to the court with just over a minute left in the game to plenty of cheers from the Jayhawks faithful.

The crowd at Allen Fieldhouse erupted once again when Self scored the last shot of the game, a score that brought a smile to the face of his father and coach before he shook hands with Colorado coach and former Jayhawk Tad Boyle. 

The blowout loss was a huge blow to the morale of the Buffaloes, who went into Saturday's game with a 7-1 record, as they were without their star player, Spencer Dinwiddie, for most of the game. 

Dinwiddie was taken out of the game early in the first half after he picked up his second personal foul. 

To add to the misery of the visiting team, Dinwiddie tweaked his ankle during the game and was unable to lead a potential Buffaloes comeback in the second half.

One player who did play well for the Buffaloes was freshman forward Josh Scott, who recovered from poor performances in his past two games against Wyoming and Colorado State with a team high 19 points

With the win, Kansas moved to 7-1 and extended their winning streak over their former Big 12 foes to 19 games. 

The next game for the Jayhawks will be next Saturday when they host Belmont at Allen Fieldhouse while Colorado continues their road trip on Wednesday when they visit Fresno State.