The defending National Champs took another step toward their development into a strong squad last night as the Jayhawks defeated New Mexico State 100-79.
Led by freshman point guard Tyshawn Taylor, KU was able to impose their will on an undersized NMSU roster. Taylor pumped in a career high 21 points, going eight of 14 from the field.
Junior shooting guard Sherron Collins enjoyed a solid performance, posting a career best 11 assists in the contest. Collins notched his first career double-double, putting in 15 points on six of 11 shooting.
Kansas took advantage of superior size in the paint early in the contest, an advantage that proved to be a key in the victory. KU outrebounded the Aggies decidedly, posting a 46-20 rebound edge. KU particularly showed interior dominance on the offensive glass with a 20-7 advantage there.
The Jayhawks again showed their youth, and struggled with foul trouble in the paint. Sophomore pivot man Cole Aldrich got into early foul trouble, and sat most of the first half. Forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris also experienced early foul trouble, which allowed the Aggies to remain in striking distance at the half 42-31.
Coming out of the half, Kansas was a bit sluggish, and led by a thin seven point margin, 58-51 with 12:19 remaining in the game. After a thirty second time-out, the Jayhawks separated from the Aggies for good, stretching their lead to 66-51 at 11:19 to go.
In the end, the attacking defense of the Jayhawks, and some hot second half shooting, (64% from the field) proved to be too much for the visiting New Mexico State squad.
Kansas Coach Bill Self was pleased with the outcome of the contest, although he would liked to have seen more assists coming from his young point guard Taylor (three assists, two turn-overs).
Up next, Kansas takes on Jackson State University in a non-conference tilt at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.