Kansas coach Bill Self was very excited headed into Saturday’s matchup with Ohio State, saying that he would learn a lot about each other as the non-conference portion of their schedule winds down.
After a 74-66 win over the Buckeyes, Self has to be happy about what he’s seen.
Following three consecutive blowout wins at home, Kansas (10-1) was tested in Columbus.
After jumping out to an early lead, they fell behind seven late in the first half. That would be a major test that Self was anticipating, wanting to see how his veteran laden team would respond. True to form, they responded like a team that was a few points short of a National Championship and one that is a major favorite to deliver a title this year.
As usual, they did it with defense. Senior forward Travis Releford locked down Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas and from there, the Jayhawks assumed command, stretching the lead to double figures down the stretch.
Guard Ben McLemore led Kansas on the offensive end with 22 points and six rebounds. Four Jayhawks scored in double figures, including guard Elijah Johnson (13 points), Releford (11 points) and senior center Jeff Withey who collected another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior forward Kevin Young also pulled down 10 rebounds to go with six points.
The Jayhawks will enjoy a week off for the holiday before facing American, next Saturday night in Allen Fieldhouse.