Darrell Arthur collected six rebounds and three blocks to lead the Jayhawks to their fifth-straight win to open the season. The loss dropped Arizona to 3-2.
Senior guard Rodrick Stewart gave the Jayhawks their first lead of the second half with a bucket and a free throw just 18 seconds into overtime. Sophomore Chase Budinger, who finished with a game-high 27 points, quickly answered for the Wildcats with a three-point basket on Arizona's next possession. Kansas then went on a 8-0 run behind two baskets by Arthur and two dunks by junior guard Brandon Rush to open up a 73-65 lead with just over a minute and half to play in overtime.
Arizona got a basket by sophomore forward Jordan Hill and a lay-up and free throw by freshman guard Jerryd Bayless to trim the KU lead to three at 73-70 with 40 seconds left on the clock, but Rush made 1-of-2 foul shots and senior guard Russell Robinson knocked down two to seal the win for Kansas.
Kansas got off to a slow start to open the game as Budinger put Arizona up 4-0 with two mid-range jumpers. KU finally got on the board just over three minutes into the game with back-to-back buckets by Arthur and senior center Sasha Kaun.
The Jayhawks were then off and rolling, putting together a 13-0 run sparked by Rush's five-straight points. KU took an 11-point lead at 20-9 with 11:39 left in the opening period of play on another basket by Arthur.
Arizona then came roaring back as Budinger scored 11-straight points for the Wildcats. Two free throws by Bayless knotted the score at 33, but Rush tallied quick points on two free throws and his second three-point basket of the game to forge a 40-35 Kansas lead with just under two minutes to play before halftime.
The Jayhawks would not score again before intermission and Arizona evened it up heading into the break with two more foul shots by Bayless and three-point basket by senior guard Jawann McClellan.
Kansas made 50 percent from the field for the game, but only managed to hit 2-of-10 from the three-point line. Arizona shot 44 percent from the field, but made 10-of-21 from beyond the arc. The Wildcats out-rebounded KU 38-39, but Kansas owned the paint 46-18. The Jayhawks forced 25 Arizona turnovers and turned them into 22 points.
In addition to Arthur's 20 points, Rush finished with a season-high 17 tallies. Chalmers had 14 points and Stewart collected 13. Rush led the Jayhawks with eight rebounds, while Chalmers had a team-high seven assists.
Bayless turned in 19 points for Arizona, and senior forward Bret Brielmaier pulled down a team-best eight boards.
Kansas will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when they play host to Florida Atlantic in Allen Fieldhouse. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.
Story courtesy: KUAC