Kansas pulls away from BU in tourney opener
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - The Morris twins combined for 31 points and 17 rebounds as Kansas used a strong second half to shake off a challenge from Boston University, 72-53, in a Southwest Region second-round matchup.
Marcus led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds, with Markieff adding 15 and eight for the top-seeded Jayhawks (33-2), who will take on Illinois on Sunday.
Brady Morningstar tallied 13 points and Tyshawn Taylor contributed 10 points with seven assists for Kansas.
"Well, since that's the way the game went, I'll say it was the best way to start," said Kansas head coach Bill Self about Kansas' inability to put away its foes early. "But I think this, I think it's good for your guys to sweat, because there are different pressures in this tournament. I really believe it was probably good for us to feel that. And hopefully we'll relax a little bit more and be ready from jump street Sunday."
John Holland's game-best 19 points weren't nearly enough for the Terriers (21-14), who had won 11 straight coming in, including the America East final last Saturday over Stony Brook.
D.J. Irving posted 11 points with six assists and five rebounds, but committed five turnovers in defeat.
An 8-0 run early in the second half gave Kansas some separation. Marcus Morris got it going with a layup for a 37-32 game, then Markieff added two buckets and Morningstar converted an easy deuce to make it 43-32.
Dom Morris' triple got the Terriers within 47-41 at the midway point, but the Jayhawks sealed it on a 13-2 burst after that.
Josh Selby connected on a two-pointer before Morningstar tallied a triple. Patrick Hazel accounted for the only BU points in the surge, which preceded Taylor and Markieff Morris three-balls as Kansas took a 58-43 advantage with 7:38 remaining. Marcus added a jumper to cap the run less than a minute later and the lads from Lawrence cruised the rest of the way.
"It was a real great experience. What can I say? I mean, I'll never forget it, just the whole game, just being out there playing," Holland gushed. "Kansas is a great team. I know we played as hard as we could. We left it all out on the floor, so I'm okay."
The Terriers hung with the national powerhouse Jayhawks throughout the first half, and only went to the break down four after Marcus Morris hit a jumper inside the final minute for a 33-29 score.
Kansas improved to 86-38 all-time in the NCAAs and currently holds the longest active NCAA-berth streak at 22 years...BU fell to 2-7 after making its first appearance since 2002...The Terriers forced 14 Jayhawks turnovers...Kansas hit for 51 percent from the floor and BU shot just 35.3 percent.
03/18 23:33:24 ET