DePaul 66

(2-3, 0-2 away)

(3) Kansas 84

(9-0, 7-0 home)

    2:00 PM ET, December 8, 2007

    Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas

    1 2 T
    DEP 22 4466
    #3KU 39 4584

    Top Performers

    DePaul: D. Tucker 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Kansas: M. Chalmers 12 Pts, 9 Reb, 7 Ast, 7 Stl

    No. 3 Kansas spreads the wealth in front of 100th straight home sellout

    LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- It was still the first half and Sasha Kaun had just picked up his second foul, which normally means an automatic invitation to take a seat on the Kansas bench.

    But Kaun had also just scored four points. So coach Bill Self decided not to remove his 6-foot-11 senior center from the game. And Kaun responded by getting a quick basket to score the first six points in what turned into a 24-1 first-half run that sent No. 3 Kansas soaring to an 84-66 victory over DePaul on Saturday.

    It also sent Kaun's spirits soaring, which was exactly what Self had in mind for a player who had been struggling and coming under fire from critics.

    "I think Coach knew I needed to get myself going," said Kaun, who wound up with a season-high 15 points for the Jayhawks (9-0) in front of the 100th consecutive sellout in Allen Fieldhouse.

    "And I'm thankful to him that he did that. He left me in the game and gave me a little bit of confidence. It was good for me."

    Mario Chalmers had 12 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and seven assists for the Jayhawks, who have not had a seat go unsold in their 52-year-old gym since the second game of the 2001-02 season.

    Dar Tucker hit a basket with 11:12 left in the half and a few seconds later Karron Clarke's two free throws gave the Blue Demons (2-3) a 13-12 lead. But DePaul did not get another field goal until Will Walker scored with 1:38 left and by then the Jayhawks had mounted a 36-15 lead en route to the 14th 9-0 start in school history.

    "He's trying and it just hasn't worked out for him of late and he's lost his confidence a little bit," Self said of Kaun. "I really think today was kind of a crossroads for him. He could have gone the other way real easily. And it was good to see him show some toughness and fight through that. He'll draw from this for a long time."

    The Blue Demons had only one free throw during Kansas' run. Brandon Rush's 3-pointer from the wing made it 21-14 and the Jayhawks immediately pulled away.

    DePaul (2-3) whittled away a sizable lead in the final minutes as Kansas put its reserves into the game.

    Coach Jerry Wainwright was at a loss when asked how to stop the Jayhawks.

    "Try to find out where the lights are and do something to cause a blackout," he said. "There's no negatives for me to say about my team. [Kansas] is deserving of their No. 3 ranking and when they get really healthy, I think they are going to make a great run for the national title. We got beat by a better team today."

    Another high note for the Jayhawks was the return of sophomore guard Sherron Collins who had sat out six games following surgery for a stress fracture on his foot. A big ovation rang out when he got his first bucket.

    "I thought he played OK considering he hasn't been out there," Self said. "He's not 100 percent, not because of his foot, but just because he doesn't have any conditioning and he's got some atrophy in his leg."

    Chalmers had 12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and seven steals for the Jayhawks, who are 9-0 for the 14th time in school history. Darrell Arthur and Rush each had 15 points.

    Tucker had 18 points for DePaul. Draelon Burns, the 6-4 senior who scored 32 points in each of DePaul's previous two games, was alternately guarded by Russell Robinson, Rod Stewart and Rush and did not score until there was 12:10 to go and Kansas was leading 61-41. He finished with 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting, including two 3-pointers in the final minutes.

    "Once I got past a guy and was getting ready to shoot, they sent a big guy at me and then somebody else was coming from the side," Burns said. "They play real good 'D.' We knew coming into the game that I was going to be a big target. I told some of my teammates that they were going to come at me a lot so just play your game and try to pick up some of the scoring that I had been doing in the last couple of games."

    Burns said he didn't know what to make of the 24-1 run.

    "I'm not really sure because it happened so fast. We had turnovers that led to buckets and then the crowd got behind them a lot and that was a big reason," he said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 66 84
    FG Made-Attempted 23-59 (.390) 34-65 (.523)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-23 (.435) 7-18 (.389)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-20 (.500) 9-13 (.692)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 30

    2007-08 Season

    » Dec 8, 2007 @KU 84, DEP 66Recap