Greene back to lead No. 2 Kansas to 92-59 rout of Holy Cross

Holy Cross forward Isaiah Baker (25) rebounds against Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Brannen Greene returned from suspension to score 14 points, Wayne Selden Jr. had 15 and second-ranked Kansas rolled to a 92-59 victory over Holy Cross on Wednesday night.

Frank Mason III added 13 points, Perry Ellis and Cheick Diallo scored 12 apiece, and Devonte Graham finished with 10 for the Jayhawks (7-1), who blew most of a 20-point lead before building an even bigger margin in the second half and cruising down the stretch.

Karl Charles led Holy Cross (3-6) with 12 points. Malachi Alexander had 11.

Greene had been suspended six games for conduct detrimental to the team, forcing the Jayhawks’ top outside shooter to miss the trip to the Maui Invitational. But coach Bill Self trimmed the suspension by a game and Greene made the most of his return, going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Kansas played without forwards Landen Lucas, out with a toe injury, and Jamari Traylor, who has been dealing with a sore ankle. Both suited up and participated in warmups, but Self decided to start Hunter Mickelson and give his two big men the night off.

Not that the Jayhawks needed either of them.

The reigning Big 12 champs resembled the high school team from “Pleasantville” in the first half, making nearly every shot that went up. They were 8 of 10 from beyond the arc, connected on 70 percent of their field goals and even managed to make all four of their foul shots.

The lead reached 20 at one point late in the half, and Mason converted a 3-point play on a drive to the basket to give Kansas a 50-33 advantage at the break.

The Crusaders stubbornly stuck with their 2-3 zone in the second half, and for a while it allowed them to climb back into the game. Kansas missed four of its first five shots, and Holy Cross ripped off a 13-2 run to get within 52-46 with less than 16 minutes left in the game.

But like they have in 97 of their previous 101 non-conference home games under Self, the Jayhawks proved to be too much. Ellis answered the run with a bucket in the paint, Graham took his own steal in for a dunk, and Mason’s 3-pointer from the corner restored order.

Kansas pushed the lead back to 20 on Selden’s two free throws, and right past the mark when Diallo followed up Selden’s miss with a dunk to help put the game away.

TIP-INS

Holy Cross: Anthony Thompson had four points on 1-for-9 shooting. He had 23 points against Albany in his last game. … The Crusaders beat Kansas in December 1949 with Bob Cousy on the roster.

Kansas: Graham also had five assists before leaving with what appeared to be a minor injury in the second half. … Kansas wound up 12 of 20 from 3-point range and shot 63 percent from the field.

UP NEXT

Holy Cross travels to Hartford on Saturday night.

Kansas plays Oregon State on Saturday night in Kansas City, Mo.

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