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November 19, 2010

KU makes it 62 straight

For Bill Self and No. 6 ranked Kansas, Friday night will certainly be remembered a memorable event for years to come. In defeating North Texas, 93-60, the Jayhawks extended their home court winning streak to 62 straight games. A win against Ohio on Tuesday will move the streak to 63, a record Self and the Jayhawks hope to reach.

"The first six minutes were great and the first 10 minutes of the second half were great," said Self on Friday evening. "There were some minutes in there that weren't very good. The last 10 minutes of the first half stunk. We did some good things.

"We did defend their little quick guards better (in the second half)," he added.

After leading by just nine points, 36-27, at halftime, Kansas erased any hopes of a North Texas upset early on in the second half. Junior forward Marcus Morris scored 10 points in the first 5 minutes after intermission, igniting a second-half stampede that carried the Jayhawks to a 93-60 victory over North Texas on Friday night that tied the team record for consecutive home wins.

Morris, held to just four points in the first half while twin brother Markieff Morris did most of the work, scored 16 points in a 31-8 run that turned a 36-27 halftime lead into a 67-35 runaway. Marcus Morris finished with 20 points. Markieff scored nine of the Jayhawks' first 11 points and wound up with 13 points and eight rebounds.

In scoring 20 points, Marcus connected on 7-of-11 field goals, 2-of-2 shots from downtown and 4-of-6 free-throws. Markieff was 4-of-6 from the field, 1-of-1 from behind the arc and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line.

The Morris twins were joined in double-figures by Elijah Johnson, 6-foot-4, 195-pound comb-guard from Las Vegas, Nev. In all, Johnson, playing in his first regular season game of the year, scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc.

Minutes after the game, Self said he was pleased with the play of the starting five, along with Johnson, who played 17 minutes against the Mean Green.

"Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor and Tyrel Reed combined for 18 assists and two turnovers," said Self. "That doesn't happen very often. Brady also had four steals and Tyrel had three. Brady was really good today. Marcus Morris, he needs to get on the defensive boards, but he was good and made shots.

"Markieff Morris got us off to a great start," he added. "All-in-all, you have to have balance when you score 93 points and only three guys were in double figures. That means there are of lot of guys with seven, eight or nine (points)."

Morningstar put together his best performance of the early season on Friday night. He scored seven points, dished out 10 dimes, had four steals and just one turnover. He hit 3-of-5 field goals and 1-of-2 shots from downtown, his first three pointer of the season.

Tyshawn Taylor finished with nine points, six assists and just one turnover. Sophomore big man Thomas Robinson scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds in just 14 minutes of action. Tyrel Reed chipped in seven points, as did senior Mario Little, who connected on 2-of-3 field goals and 1-of-1 shots from three.

Jeff Withey scored four points, Travis Releford finished with four and Jordan Juenemann with three.

As a team, Kansas connected on 59.3 percent of its field goals, 60 percent of its three-pointers and 69 percent of its free-throws. Kansas outrebounded North Texas, 35-26, and dished out 23 assists to just eight turnovers.

Defensively, Kansas limited North Texas to 42.4 shooting from the field and 0-of-12 from behind the arc. The Jayhawks held an opponent without a three-point field goals for the first time since Albany was 0-of-15 from three-point range on December 30, 2008.

Kansas opened the game 1-of-5 shooting from downtown, before connecting on 7-of-8 threes to start the second half. The Jayhawks finished the second half 8-for-10 from three. KU's eight three-pointers in the second half were the most in a half since it had eight against Tennessee Tech on November 27, 2009.

Kansas, on Tuesday night, will look to set a record for consecutive wins at home against Ohio. The Jayhawks will look to make it 63 straight in Allen Fieldhouse.

"After the game it was nice," said Marcus Morris when talking about the streak. "Coach Self told us during the week it would be a big win, so it was nice. He just told us good job and that we did a better job in the second half."


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