8:00 PM ET, January 2, 2003
Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- The starters weren't the only ones who had something to talk about after Kansas (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) routed North Carolina-Asheville 102-50 Thursday night.Twelve Jayhawks scored, including walk-on freshman Christian Moody of Asheville, N.C., who made two free throws in the final minute."These kind of games are a lot of fun,'' said Kansas forward Wayne Simien, who had 19 points and nine rebounds. "I know those guys work hard in practice. They're thrilled to get in there and score and hear 16,000 people yelling for them.''Nick Collison had 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting against the road-weary Bulldogs, who ended a four-game trip that included three teams in last year's round of eight in the NCAA tournament."It was quite a night, but you have to feel for UNC-Asheville,'' Kansas coach Roy Williams said. "They have played an unbelievable schedule. They just never got into it and we were good defensively.''The only Jayhawk who got in the game but did not score was reserve forward Bryant Nash, who apparently broke his nose.The Jayhawks (8-3), who have won five straight, were much quicker as well as taller than the preseason Big South favorites and forced 26 turnovers. They also scored 58 points in the paint to just four for the outmanned Bulldogs. Keith Langford added 18 points for Kansas.Alex Kragel scored 31 points for Asheville, 14 over his previous career high. The 6-2 senior was 7-of-10 on 3-pointers after getting just 17 3s in the first nine games."It was just one of those nights,'' Kragel said. "I don't know if it was the atmosphere, but it felt good tonight. It was wonderful and you can't ask for a better atmosphere.''Andre Smith, who had been leading the Bulldogs with a 19-point average, was held scoreless and was 0-for-9 from the field, guarded much of the time by Kirk Hinrich."I thought we grew some tonight,'' Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach said. "We battled them evenly on the boards. If we continue to play like that when we get in our league, we will be very effective.''Langford, who broke his nose last week in practice, was 6-of-7 in the first half, including 2-for-2 on 3-pointers as one banked hard off the glass and the other bounced up and down on the rim a couple of times before dropping through.Hinrich, on his 22nd birthday, was just 2-of-6 in the first half, including an uncharacteristic airball. But the Jayhawks got the rebound and he then went to the basket for a layup, making it 39-20 and bringing a roar from the crowd. Many people held up signs wishing a happy birthday for Hinrich, who wound up with seven points."I don't really pay much attention to that,'' Hinrich said. "I figured somebody just looked in the media guide and decided to make a sign.''Aaron Miles' free throw in the final seconds gave the Jayhawks a 46-22 halftime lead.