8:00 PM ET, December 29, 2003
Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Binghamton picked the wrong time and the wrong place to play its highest-ranked opponent since joining Division I.After an uninspired 75-61 loss to Nevada last week, No. 13 Kansas was angry Monday night. After not appearing in their beloved Allen Fieldhouse for almost three weeks, the Jayhawks were also homesick.The result was a 78-46 victory for the Jayhawks, who roared to a 19-2 lead and made sure the Bearcats (4-6) were never competitive."The fieldhouse has its affect upon our opponents, which is good," said J.R. Giddens, who had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Jayhawks (7-2).Even though classes are out for Christmas break, the house was sold out with more than 16,000 fans."Those guys fought and scratched. But we showed them how we do it here in the fieldhouse," Giddens said.Keith Langford had 14 points for Kansas, which was the highest-ranked opponent the Bearcats had faced since joining Division I in 2001.Binghamton was playing for the first time in 12 days and away from home for the ninth time in 10 games."Any time you play the best, you have the possibility of getting waxed," Binghamton coach Al Walker said. "Kansas did a great job of making shots early, and we did not."The Jayhawks led 33-14 in holding Binghamton to the lowest halftime total of any Kansas opponent since Oklahoma had 14 on Feb. 20, 1999.Nick Billings, the Bearcats' 7-foot center and top scorer and rebounder, picked up his third foul with 11:10 left in the first half and wound up with eight points and only one rebound."We played against the best and we took a risk," Walker said.Langford was 5-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range, as the Jayhawks shot 47 percent and held Binghamton to 29 percent.David Padgett, the Jayhawks' 6-11 center, helped get Billings in foul trouble and wound up with seven points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots."We knew after Nevada that we needed to get things turned around," Padgett said. "We just came back to practice last Friday. Our focus was to get better as a team and not worry about individuals. We played pretty well so we're going up right now."Binghamton had one burst in the first half after Jeff Hawkins' basket made it 21-4. Brandon Carter then personally outscored the Jayhawks 8-0 with two free throws, a 3-pointer and a three-point play that cut the lead to 21-10.But then Padgett hit a hook shot, Jeff Graves made a free throw and Giddens canned a long 3-pointer as the Jayhawks outscored the visitors 12-4 to take the 33-14 halftime lead.Carter led the Bearcats with 14 points."I played well but I could have played better," said Carter, a native of McPherson, Kan. "You just have to go out there and compete. Kansas is loaded in all five positions. Some teams have good guards or strong forwards. They are strong all around."