January 7, 2007
Bill Self and the No. 9 ranked Kansas Jayhawks (13-2; 0-0) knew that winning at South Carolina (10-3; 0-0) would be no easy task. The Hawks led by as many as 14-points in the first half, but the Gamecocks trailed by just four-points when the halftime buzzer sounded. KU and USC traded baskets early in the second half, but Self's squad pulled away late, 70-54. The Jayhawks extended their winning streak to seven, and will now return home to face Oklahoma State (15-1; 1-0) on Wednesday night.
"We were terrific defensively," said Self. "They (USC) had six-points, out of their 11, with about six minutes left in the half, on put backs. Our first shot defense was great, we defended well and we had some careless turnovers that obviously kept the game from being 15 or 16, as opposed to eight.
"Teams at home usually make a run, and they made their run right before halftime," he added. "We made a couple of bonehead plays, but the second half, we really played pretty good offense. It wasn't picture perfect, but it was pretty good. I thought we played pretty good. I thought "Shady" (Darrell Arthur) was a big key, I thought Sherron Collins gave us great minutes off the bench and Mario Chalmers was terrific. To me, the biggest key was Sasha Kaun's presence in the second half. We're just a different team when he's in there going for the ball."
The Jayhawks found themselves trailing early after missing their first three shots and committed three turnovers over the opening three minutes of the game.
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