No. 7 Kansas Edges Out No. 17 UCLA , 99-98
Nov. 9, 2000
NEW YORK - Kansas had a pretty nice start to the 2000-01 season and agreat finish to its first game.
Kenny Gregory scored 24 points and Kirk Hinrich added 21 as theseventh-ranked Jayhawks beat No. 17 UCLA 99-98 on Thursday night in the openinggame of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic.
Kansas, which shot 65 percent from the field in the first half in going upby as many as 16 points, had to hold off the Bruins down the stretch withoffensive rebounding and free-throw shooting.
The Jayhawks will meet the winner of the game between No. 12 Kentucky andSt. John's in the championship Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Gregory, Kansas' leading returning scorer at 12.8 points per game, had 15 asthe Jayhawks built a 57-51 halftime lead. While Gregory's scoring was expectedthat wasn't the case with sophomore point guard Kirk Hinrich.
Hinrich, who averaged 5.5 points last season with a high game of 12, had 13points in the first half during which Kansas built a 24-8 lead over the openingseven minutes.
UCLA, which missed eight of its first 10 shots from the field, startedchipping away behind the 3-point shooting of sophomore Jason Kapono, theBruins' leading returning scorer at 16.0.
Kapono hit three 3s in the final 8:34 of the first half.
He kept the long-range shooting up in the second half, making all three ofhis shots from behind the arc to finish 6-for-9 from there for 22 points.
Kapono's last 3-pointer brought UCLA to 93-92 with 51 seconds to play and itended a 6-2 run during which Kansas scored all its points on offensiverebounds, one by Eric Chenowith and two by Drew Gooden.
Kansas went 6-for-6 from the foul line over the final 23 seconds, while MattBarnes, a 48-percent free-throw shooter last season, missed three of four forUCLA, which ended the scoring with a 3 by Earl Watson at the buzzer.
Gooden had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who finished with a41-29 advantage on the boards. Chenowith had 12 points and nine rebounds forKansas, which shot 51 percent for the game.
Freshman T.J. Cummings, the son of former NBA star Terry Cummings, led theBruins with 24 points on 8-for-10 shooting and had seven rebounds.
By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
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