Through the first three games of the season, Kansas had yet to dominate an opponent in a way that made you stop and gasp at the team’s potential. That came to a resounding end on Monday night, as the Jayhawks ran Washington State off the Sprint Center floor with a dominating 78-41 victory in the semifinals of the CBE Classic.
The Jayhawks will face St. Louis, Tuesday night for the CBE title.
The game was essentially over by the time the first media timeout arrived with under 16 minutes to play in the first half. The Kansas offense overwhelmed the Cougars en route to a 50-21 halftime lead.
“I thought we did a really good job moving the ball in the first half,” coach Bill Self said. “Of course, we made shots and everything looks better when you make shots.”
Self said the team executed better than they had all year, as nothing Washington State tried defensively worked.
Three Jayhawks scored in double figures, led by Travis Releford, who poured in 17 points. Freshman Perry Ellis added 12 and Ben McLemore chipped in 11 points, all in the first half.
Senior Kevin Young, who started, pulled down 10 rebounds in his third game back after missing two weeks with a broken hand. Senior Jeff Withey swatted five Cougar shots, while adding eight points on a night where everybody played and minutes were held in check with the game so out of hand.
“I wanted to rest our guys as much as possible, because we have such a short turn around with the game tomorrow night,” Self said.
Kansas will meet a Bilikens team that over powered Texas A&M in the night’s first semifinal.
“They remind me of Davidson in that they’re really physical, sneaky physical, “ Self said. “They don’t give up easy baskets and you have to make shots against them.”