Kansas men's basketball defeated Saint Joseph’s 94-72 in game two of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Friday.
Sophomore guard Christian Braun stole the show for Kansas, finishing with a career-high 30 points on 10-for-13 shooting, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. Kansas junior guard Ochai Agbaji was also solid, scoring 18 points.
Freshman guard Bryce Thompson was also granted his first career start for Kansas after a 12 point outing against Gonzaga Thursday, but only played 21 minutes and scored seven points. Senior guard Marcus Garrett was also kept quiet throughout the game and finished with just five points on 1-for-5 shooting.
But Saint Joseph’s got on the board first with a fast break layup off a turnover from Agbaji. Just a few minutes later, Agbaji made up for his mistake with a three-pointer to give Kansas its first lead at 9-8.
Later in the first half, redshirt freshman forward Jalen Wilson found JUCO transfer guard Tyon Grant-Foster for a vicious slam dunk to tie the game up at 18-18. Wilson was making plays in every aspect of the game, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
The Hawks were firing three-pointer after three-pointer early on in the game. Sophomore guard Matt Forrest caught fire for Saint Joseph’s and led them on a 7-0 run to take the lead. Braun ended the run with back-to-back three-pointers to bring Kansas within one.
The duo of Braun and Agbaji were on fire in the first half, combining for 27 points and missing only one shot. Agbaji played a huge part in Kansas’ 11-0 run to make the score 39-30, adding a second-chance layup with just 27 seconds left to cap off the first half. Kansas walked into halftime with a 44-36 lead.
The Jayhawks shot a near perfect 11-for-12 from the free throw line and out-rebounded the Hawks 29-16 in the first half.
To start the second half, Saint Joseph's went on a quick 8-0 run. After a layup, the Hawks nailed back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game, and redshirt senior guard Ryan Daly gave the Hawks a two-point lead after converting a tough layup. Daly played hard all night and finished with 14 points.
Meanwhile, Braun continued to add to his impressive night. He finished an alley-oop layup and drained another three-pointer to give Kansas a 61-53 lead with 12:03 left to play.
Redshirt freshman guard Dajuan Harris also provided a spark off the bench for Kansas. Harris found Agbaji in transition for a dunk, giving Harris his third assist of the game and Kansas a 68-55 lead.
Kansas's small-ball lineups relentlessly attacked in transition throughout the game, scoring 35 fast break points.
Saint Joseph’s failed to make a shot for the next five minutes, which gave Kansas an opportunity to blow the game open. Agbaji provided the exclamation point with another monster slam, extending the Kansas lead to 85-65.
Next up for Kansas will be a marquee matchup with No. 10 Kentucky in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.