Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Led by a combined 43 points from senior Ochai Agbaji and junior Christian Bruan, Kansas led wire-to-wire against UTEP, 78-52 In the Jayhawk Shootout at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday evening.
Kansas improves to 7-1 on the season, while UTEP falls to 4-3. The Jayhawks improve 44-10 in games played at the T-Mobile Center and 230-84 all-time in games played Kansas City. The Jayhawks also evened up the series with the Miners at 3-3, winning each of the last three meetings.
Agbaji tallied his 13th career 20+ point game, scoring 23 points on 9-of-12 (75 percent) from the floor. Agbaji has scored in double-figures in each of the eight games so far this season.
Braun, of Burlington, Kan., hit double-figures for the seventh consecutive game on Tuesday, scoring 20 points on 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the field. Over his last two games, Braun has combined for 51 points, the most over a two-game span in his career.
The Jayhawks wasted no time finding an advantage against the Miners, capitalizing on an early 10-0 run to start the game. The Kansas defense held UTEP scoreless for the first 6:37 of the game, led by redshirt sophomore Dajuan Harris’ three steals.
Kansas would extend its lead to as many as 27 (40-13), in the first half, while taking a 42-21 advantage into the locker room. The Miners’ 21 first half points were the fewest allowed by the Jayhawks in a half this season.
The second half was much more tightly contested, with Kansas outscoring UTEP 36-31 in the final 20 minutes. As a team, the Jayhawks shot 53.5 percent (30-of-56) from the floor, while outrebounding the Miners 40-29 in the game. Kansas also outscored UTEP 46-26 in the paint.
UTEP was led by 18 points from junior Souley Boum on 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) shooting. The Jayhawks held the Miners to 31.1 percent (19-of-61) from the floor, the lowest shooting percentage against KU this season.
The Jayhawks will return to action on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. CT to host the Missouri Tigers for the HyVee Hoops Border Showdown.