LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- The Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette earned every nickel of that big paycheck Saturday night.
Dominant from the opening tip, No. 2 Kansas built an early 30-point lead and coasted to a 96-51 victory in a mismatch that guaranteed the outmanned visitors $50,000.Louisiana-Lafayette coach Robert Lee seemed almost reluctant to admit that he was the one who made the final decision to add the Kansas trip."We should shoot that guy," said the first-year head coach. "Kansas gives us a nice payday. Hopefully we will use that for our program."Keith Langford had 19 of his 24 points in a torrid first half, and J.R. Giddens had 14 of his 16 before the break. Most of the starters for Kansas (6-0) went to the bench with more than 10 minutes left in the mismatch between the preseason favorite in the Big 12 and the three-time defending champions of the Sun Belt West.Had they stayed in, several Jayhawks might have soared past their career highs."I wasn't disappointed," Giddens said of coming out so early. "That means my other teammates got to play and that's what it'sall about. They deserve it because they make us better every day in practice."Langford, after a slow start following knee surgery, has totaled 62 points in his last three games. He was 7-for-9 in the first half as the Jayhawks rolled up a 54-22 lead in their sixth straight home game."To tell you the truth, I probably wasn't being as aggressive as I should have," Langford said. "We got some floor time out of guys who don't get to play as much, and that's good for them. I'd have been fine if I hadn't even played the second half."Louisiana-Lafayette (3-4) was led by Tiras Wade and Brian Hamilton with 12 points each. The Ragin' Cajuns never got closer than 35 points after the first few minutes of the second half. They shot only 32 percent."We got a chance to play a lot of guys," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Louisiana-Lafayette has played better than they did tonight."Wayne Simien had 11 points and 12 rebounds before going to the bench with 10:45 left.The game, never competitive, began getting completely out of hand midway through the second half, when Aaron Miles stole the ball at midcourt and drove in for a basket and a 65-27 lead. A moment later, Simien -- who had his fifth double-double in six games -- hit a short jumper and the lead climbed to 40 points."They sat in a zone and Keith and J.R. made some big shots to get them out of the zone," Simien said. "It was curtains after that."The Ragin' Cajuns got it down to 35 a few minutes later on Dwayne Mitchell's 3-pointer, but freshman Alex Galindo's 3-pointer with 6:59 left put Kansas on top 80-39.The loss kept the Cajuns winless in five road games this season."We just didn't do a good job on defense," Lee said. "Even against our zone, Langford was able to penetrate."Wade, Hamilton and Orien Greene had combined to average 44.9 points in the Cajuns' first six games. But they totaled only 28 against the Jayhawks."Shooting is a question mark with this team," Lee said. "With us not being able to execute, we had the wrong guys taking shots."