Top-seeded Kansas routs Niagara
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Mario Chalmers scored 19 points and Russell
Robinson had 16 as Kansas cruised to a 107-67 victory over Niagara in the
first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We knew tonight Niagara was going to come out and play their best game and
come at us hard,” said Chalmers. “We just tried to counter their runs with a
run of our own. We were able to knock our shots down, they were missing their
shots and the ball just fell our way.”
Sherron Collins had 15 points and Darrell Arthur had 12 points and eight
rebounds for the top-seeded Jayhawks (31-4), who will next do battle with
Kentucky in the second round.
Julian Wright added 10 points and 10 boards as Kansas extended its winning
streak to 12 games.
Charron Fisher registered 17 points and six rebounds and Lorenzo Miles
contributed 13 points for the MEAC champion Purple Eagles (23-12), who beat
Florida A&M in the opening round game on Tuesday to advance to this game.
Niagara managed to hang with Kansas early in the first half before the
Jayhawks started to pull away. With the score tied at 14-14, Darnell Jackson
and Arthur hit back-to-back jumpers to ignite an 18-5 run that put Kansas up
32-19 with just under seven minutes left in the half.
Miles hit two straight jumpers to bring the Purple Eagles within nine, but
Kansas answered with a 20-4 run — including the final 12 points of the half–
to take a commanding 52-27 lead into the locker room.
Robinson and Collins each scored 11 points in the first half as Kansas had 19
fast break points and forced 12 Niagara turnovers.
Fisher opened up the second half with a bucket to bring Niagara within 23, but
that was as close as the Purple Eagles would get.
With the score 61-37, the Jayhawks ripped off a 20-3 run, capped by back-to-
back dunks by Robinson and Chalmers, to make it a 41 point game midway through
the second half and Kansas cruised to the finish.
“We could have just lost to the national champions,” said Niagara head coach
Joe Mihalich. “I just said to (Kansas head coach Bill Self) out in the
hallway, ‘We haven’t played North Carolina or UCLA, but if they are better
than this team, I would have to see it.'”
Kansas is making its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 36th
overall in school history…Niagara saw its 12 game winning streak come to an