LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Ben McLemore scored 24 points, Kevin Young added 16 points and eight rebounds and ninth-ranked Kansas rolled to a 90-54 victory over former Big 12 member Colorado on Saturday.
Elijah Johnson hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points, and Travis Releford added 10 points and six assists for the Jayhawks (7-1), who have won seven straight since losing to Michigan State early in the year.
Kansas used an 18-3 run in the opening minutes to silence a small but vocal section of Colorado fans, pushed the advantage to more than 20 by halftime and kept building on it throughout the second half. The lead surpassed 30 with 17 minutes left and reached the 40-point mark with about 8 minutes to go.
Josh Scott finished with 19 points to lead the Buffaloes (7-2), who have lost two of three after rattling off six straight wins to start the year. Askia Booker added 15 points, while leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie was held to four points on 1-for-4 shooting. Xavier Johnson missed all four of his field-goal attempts before fouling out.
It was another rough day in Allen Fieldhouse for the Buffaloes, who have lost 19 straight to the Jayhawks and 46 of 47 dating to the 1991 season. The longtime Big 12 member, which bolted for the Pac-12 last season, hasn’t won in Kansas’ storied arena since the 1982-83 season, a span of 29 consecutive games.
Kansas coach Bill Self is 18-0 against the Buffaloes, and has won 11 straight against the Pac-12.
The Jayhawks led 43-22 at halftime after turning Colorado over 12 times and coughing up a possession just twice in the first 20 minutes. The result was a lopsided 22-2 advantage in points-off-turnovers, and a big lead despite missing its final 10 3-point attempts of the half.
McLemore nearly out-scored the Buffaloes by himself, pouring in 17 points.
The freshman guard, who sat out last season as a partial NCAA qualifier, did his best work slashing through the lane and getting to the foul line. But he also picked Colorado’s pocket on a couple of occasions, once tipping the ball over a defender’s head and tracking it down for an easy dunk and an 18-3 lead in the opening minutes.
The only stretch that Kansas wasn’t running at optimal efficiency came midway through the first half, when it missed seven straight field goals and Colorado closed within 29-18. As if on cue, the Jayhawks scored the next nine points to force Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle – who played for Kansas in the 1980s – to call a frantic timeout.
Dinwiddie, who had scored at least 20 in three straight games, only played 12 minutes in the first half. He picked up two fouls in the first 5 minutes, and at one point went to the locker room favoring his left leg.
The Jayhawks came out of the locker room and produced an 11-2 run.
The spurt included a nifty feed from Young to Jeff Withey under the basket and a block by Withey on Colorado’s Andre Roberson that led to a run-out and a dunk by Releford. The crowd roared down the stretch as some of the Jayhawks’ reserves got into the game.
Kansas wound up shooting 55-percent from the field, despite putting the game in cruise control down the stretch. The Buffaloes finished with 18 turnovers and shot just 37 percent, hitting 2 of 13 from beyond the arc.