Oubre Jr. helps No. 13 Kansas beat Kent State 78-62
LAWRENCE, Kansas (AP) With all else failing on offense for Kansas, Kelly Oubre Jr. took control of the game.
Oubre scored 20 points and No. 13 Kansas beat Kent State 78-62 on Tuesday night.
''I just got into a rhythm early,'' Oubre said. ''I was just playing in the confines of the game.''
He started out hitting his first six shots, including all four of his 3-pointers.
''He absolutely carried us in the first 10 minutes of the game,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said.
This was the second game in the last three where Oubre scored at least 20 points. He had 23 in Kansas' win over Lafayette on Dec. 20. With the near back-to-back performances, Self said Oubre solidified his starting position.
''Oubre, who I know didn't start early in the year, he was unbelievable in the first half,'' Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said.'' I'm sure he's just scratching the surface.''
Perry Ellis added 15 for Kansas (10-2). Blunders and bloopers were evident early for Kansas. On the first possession of the game, Oubre turned the ball over. Wayne Selden Jr. missed a dunk. The entire team ended up on the floor going after a loose ball.
''I thought the first half, the first 12 minutes, we didn't play very well at all,'' Self said.
Everyone but Oubre had shooting woes. Excluding the freshman's perfect first half, Kansas was 10 of 30.
When the Golden Flashes were called for a foul, the Jayhawks only made 3 of 8 free throws. Kent State wasn't any better. They only shot 25 percent from the line.
Some of the woes continued after intermission for each team.
Kansas allowed five offensive rebounds for Kent State in the second half along with six-second chance points. Kansas also had eight turnovers in the half.
When Allen Fieldhouse was starting to grow quiet, Cliff Alexander dunked life into the crowd. He scored six-straight points in 58 seconds and helped guide a 12-2 run that put Kansas up by 21 points.
''Cliff's playing like how Cliff plays,'' Oubre said. ''Every time Cliff's in the game it pumps us up because he's getting rebounds, dunks. Everything he does is really athletic. That's what he does.''
Kent State tried charging back in the final four minutes, but the deficit was too big.
''I didn't think our shot selection was great,'' Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said. ''We fouled a little bit too much, we couldn't get enough rebounds.''
Three of Kent State's final points of the game came off a 3-pointer from Blake Vedder, a 7-foot-4 center.
The final basket of the game was a breakaway layup from Tyler Self, the son of coach Self. It was his first of the season. Self joked about how his son went up with his right hand on the left side of the basket.
''It was good that somebody off our scout team made a basket,'' Self said.
Jimmy Hall scored 13 points and eight rebounds, and Khaliq Spicer added 11 points and five rebounds for Kent State (8-4).
Kansas: Oubre scored 11 points in 6:23, being the fastest Jayhawk to 10 points on the season.
Kent State last came to Allen Fieldhouse in Feb. 2008, where Kansas won 87-68.
Kansas hosts UNLV on Sunday.
Kent State hosts Texas-Pan American on Friday.
Freshman guard Devonte' Graham saw the doctor Tuesday for his turf toe injury he sustained on Dec. 10. He was allowed toss the walking boot. Coach Self said there is no current prognosis on Graham, other than he is moving in a positive direction.