LAWRENCE, Kan. – A perfect shooting night from sophomore guard Lagerald Vick paired with torrid long-range shooting from the rest of the Jayhawks lifted No. 4/5 Kansas to a 91-61 win over the Long Beach State 49ers Tuesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse. Vick’s 9-of-9 shooting performance helped him to a career-high 23 points as he was joined by five teammates to connect from long range against the 49ers.
The win gave Kansas (6-1) its sixth-straight win and moved its home-court winning streak, currently the longest active streak in the nation, to 45 games. LBSU dropped to 1-8 in its 2016-17 campaign, which kicked off with eight of its first nine games away from home.
In his second-career start and second in as many games, Vick further made his case for a more permanent position in the starting rotation. The Memphis product began his career night by getting the Jayhawks off to a hot start, netting seven of his team’s first nine points. Vick went on to be perfect on all seven of his field goal attempts in the opening period, which included a 3-for-3 tally from beyond the three-point arc.
Vick’s hot start was quickly mimicked by his teammates. After 49er guard Justin Bibbins connected on a three-pointer to cut the KU lead to one at 14-13 just over eight minutes into the game, the Jayhawks came alive with a shooting and rebounding clinic to put the game out of reach before the two squads broke for halftime.
Three-straight threes from junior Devonte’ Graham, sophomore Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and freshman Josh Jackson keyed a run that pushed the Kansas lead into double-figures at 27-13 just over midway through the half.
An acrobatic layup by Graham just seconds before the halftime buzzer gave KU a 48-25 halftime lead and the Jayhawks’ largest point total in a half so far this season.
The 15-minute intermission didn’t do much to cool down the KU shooters. The Jayhawks connected on eight of their first nine field goal attempts, including each of the first four three-pointers, all before the 12-minute media timeout.
Mykhailiuk continued the scorching KU shooting from outside with three second-half treys. KU big men Udoka Azubuike and Carlton Bragg Jr., got into the KU scoring mix, combining for 13 points over the final 20 minutes with the help of some thunderous dunks and impressive plays on the blocks.
A Bragg slam at the 8:21 mark pushed the Kansas lead to a game-high 37 points at 80-43 and the Jayhawks would coast the rest of the way.
KU’s final points of the game came in fitting fashion, by way of a three-point strike from senior guard Tyler Self. Moments later the game came to an end with the Jayhawks securing a 91-61 win, reaching the 90-point plateau for the second time this year.
In its second-straight outing, Kansas shot 60 percent from the field, connecting on 34 of its 57 attempts. That included a season-high 14 three-pointers and 54 percent clip from long range.
While KU was drilling the 49ers from long range, the Jayhawks were also pounding the visitors on the boards, pulling down 41 rebounds to just 24 for LBSU. Kansas also ended the game with 13 boards on the offensive glass, which the home side took advantage of. Kansas scored 19 points on its 13 second-chance opportunities, the most for the Jayhawks this year.
Vick led all scorers with his 23 points on 9-of-9 shooting and a career-high four threes. He was joined by five teammates who notched eight or more points. Azubuike brought down seven rounds to lead the Jayhawks, while Frank Mason led the squad with eight assists.
Kansas continues its six-game home stand when it hosts Stanford on Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN with tip set for 2:30 p.m. (CT). It will mark the return of Jerod Haase to KU. Haase was a standout Jayhawk guard from 1995-97 and is the head coach for the Cardinal. KU will then host UMKC on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., on Jayhawk TV/ESPN3, Nebraska on Dec. 10 at 2:15 p.m., on ESPN, and Davidson at Sprint Center on Dec. 17, at 6 p.m., on ESPN2.