Through two games at the CBE Classic on Monday and Tuesday, the Kansas Jayhawks showed extended glimpses of why they are the overwhelming favorite to win another Big 12 championship and potentially make another deep NCAA Tournament run later in March.
Tuesday night against Saint Louis, it came together again, as Jeff Withey and Travis Releford combined for 48 points in a 73-59 beating of the Billikens inside Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
The win improves the Jayhawks to 4-1, as they take couple of days off for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The night belonged to Withey and Releford, who scored 25 and 23 points respectively, with Releford scoring 21 in the first half. Withey dominated on the defensive end, recording seven blocks and altering several others with his presence.
“Travis was unbelievable in the first half, “ head coach Bill Self said. “They made a decision not to guard him, so he was unbelievable and made them pay and we get the big lead and then in the second half, the reason why Jeff had the big game was because they guarded Travis.”
Kansas built a double digit lead midway through the first half and never let the Billikens back within single digits until late in the game. However, with each Saint Louis rally, came a Kansas answer.
“We got better over here, “ Self said. “ That was a big key, to come over here and you have to try to win two games, but we need to get better and we accomplished that, I think.”
The Jayhawks will take a few days off before beginning a homestand with San Jose State, Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse.