A solid start allows the Jayhawks to win 82-59

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Going through Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. –The No. 5-ranked Kansas Jayhawks improved to 2-0 this season with a decisive 82-59 win over North Dakota State on Thursday night at Allen Fieldhouse. Redshirt junior Jalen Wilson finished just short of a double-double with game-highs 21 points and nine rebounds on the night.

Kansas dominated the game from the jump. Wilson scored nine of the first 14 points for the Jayhawks and finished with 17 in the half. Already holding a 16-6 lead, KU went on a 10-0 run to push the lead to 26-9 with 9:11 to go in the first half. A layup by KU freshman MJ Rice in his first career game forced a timeout from the Bison.

The timeout didn’t slow Kansas’ offense, as KU went on an 11-0 run shortly after to make it 40-13. KU held a 48-19 lead at the break after sinking six three-pointers and shooting 55.9% from the field in the first half. The 29-point halftime lead was the largest since 2019 against Monmouth as Kansas led by 38 points at halftime.

The Jayhawks would go on to lead up to 34 points in the second half. North Dakota State cut that deficit to 23 points, but that was as close as the Bison would get the rest of the contest.

Rice finished his career opener with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists, while fellow freshman Gradey Dick had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Bobby Pettiford Jr. had a career-high eight assists.

For the second straight game, Kansas controlled the glass with a 46-32 advantage. The Jayhawks grabbed 13 offensive rebounds in the contest and scored 46 points in the paint.

Kansas will face the No. 7 Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m. PT in Indianapolis at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The contest will be televised on ESPN. Kansas is 6-5 all-time in the Champions Classic, including 2-1 against Duke in the event.

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