LAWRENCE (TNS) — The decisive run came with Frank Mason drilling floaters, and Hunter Mickelson blocking shots, and Kelly Oubre making 3-pointers.
It was late in the second half on Saturday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse. Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon kept signaling timeout to the officials, and the Jayhawks kept coming, wave after wave, productivity born from the deepest pockets of the Kansas bench.
The 11th-ranked Jayhawks beat up Lafayette 96-69 on Saturday, and for the most part, this was not unexpected. Kansas was rested after a six-day break for final exams, and motivated to run their winning streak to eight games after surviving a brutal non-conference stretch in late November and early December.
But perhaps this was not exactly the expected method of dominance. Oubre finished with a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds while making just the second start of his career. Mason blitzed Lafayette with 14 points and nine assists. And Mickelson, a little-used forward who had spent most of the season buried on the bench, notched eight points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.
Mickelson even swatted two shots.
The Jayhawks, who led just 59-52 with 11:40 left, finished the afternoon with a torrid stretch of offense, pushing the lead to 30 points in the final minutes.
Entering Saturday, the Jayhawks had won seven straight, emerging unscathed from a stretch that featured games against Michigan State, Florida, Georgetown and Florida. Those four victories came by an average margin of less than five points per game.
But after taking a six-day break for exams, the Jayhawks’ non-conference schedule was finally positioned to soften, beginning on Saturday against Lafayette.
For close to 30 minutes, Lafayette put up a valiant fight. But the Jayhawks’ depth acted as a blunt sledgehammer. For the day, Kansas received 43 points from its bench.
During the first half, freshman wing Svi Mykhailiuk led Kansas with 11 points while drilling three of four from three-point range. The Jayhawks led 45-28 at the intermission.
The Jayhawks had Sunday off before heading to face Temple tonight in Philadelphia.
Tipoff for the game with the Owls is 6 p.m. and the game will be on ESPN2.