Jayhawks balance too much for AM

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 18, 2000

The Associated Press

College Station, Texas – Texas A&M was outmanned against Kansas, and it finally showed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Email newsletter signup

College Station, Texas – Texas A&M was outmanned against Kansas, and it finally showed.

Kenny Gregory scored 15 points and led a second half run as the seventh-ranked Jayhawks used their height and balance to beat Texas A&M 78-57 Monday night. The Aggies made it interesting until they collapsed in the second half.

”It’s not fair, they are bigger than us and they had more guys than us,” Texas A&M coach Melvin Watkins said jokingly. ”I’ve got to talk to the NCAA about spreading things out a little more evenly.”

Kansas (15-2, 4-0 in Big 12) overcame Texas A&M’s (5-10, 1-3) early defensive stand for a 38-29 halftime lead. The Aggies were bolstered by a controversial last-second victory over Texas Tech on Saturday night, but this time they weren’t even close.

”I think the key to our team is our depth. We try to wear teams out,” Gregory said. ”You can see it in a guy’s eyes when he’s winded. We try to bury a team as soon as possible, not leave them any hope to come back in the last five minutes.”

Leading 45-39 with 16:51 to play, Kansas erupted with a 27-9 run for a 72-48 lead with 3:21 left. Gregory had 10 points in the second half.

The Jayhawks outrebounded the Aggies 55-32, led by Drew Gooden, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kansas had four players scoring in double figures.

Kansas has won seven straight games since losing to Illinois 84-70 on Dec. 18. The Jayhawks’ 15-2 start is their best since they were 16-1 to start the 1997-98 season.

”Rebounding is drilled into our heads every day, and I think we did a good job on the offensive boards,” Gooden said.

Kansas didn’t score at its usual 86-point pace, but the defense shut down the Aggies. Tomas Ress hit a basket in the closing seconds for 10 points, Texas A&M’s only scorer in double figures.

”Their pressure got up and they had 12 guys to play,” Ress said. ”They were more fresh. They would have one time out and change five guys. They were just more fresh than us.”

Kansas guard Jeff Boschee went 0-for-5 from 3-point range, ending a string of 38 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer. Kansas was 2-for-11 on 3-pointers.

The Aggies tried to jump on the Jayhawks from the start, and their aggressiveness netted them four steals in the first 8:28. They even managed a 14-10 lead before an excited Reed Arena crowd of 12,175, a record for the two-year old arena.

”When we walked out of the tunnel and saw the crowd, that’s the way we want it here every night,” Watkins said. ”We had some good moments, we had a lot of good looks. Kansas constantly kept the pressure on us and eventually it wore us out.”

Kansas’ 11-man rotation paid off, and the Jayhawks took the lead for good on a basket by Gooden with 7:56 to go in the half. Kansas built a 36-26 edge late in the first half as the Aggies had only three points in the final 4:12.

”Kansas is a great team and they just keep sending fresh guys at you,” A&M guard Jamaal Gilchrist said. ”I was nervous before the game, but I’ve been waiting all my life to play in a game like this.”