FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Kansas Jayhawks earned their first victory of the 2020-21 season behind a career-game from sophomore Christian Braun, who scored a career-high 30 points and 9 rebounds, as No. 6 Kansas defeated Saint Joseph’s, 94-72, in the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off on Friday.
Braun led the Jayhawks with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-13 from the field, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Braun was joined by Jalen Wilson (14 pts.) and Ochai Agbaji (18 pts.) in double-figures scoring.
As a team, Kansas shot 50% (32-of-64) from the field in the game, including 45% (9-of-20) from beyond the arc. Kansas outrebounded Saint Joseph’s, 51-33, and were led by Wilson and Braun’s 9 rebounds, both of which were career-highs.
After trailing by as many as seven in the first half, Kansas used an 8-0 run, spurred by Braun who scored six-straight points for the Jayhawks, including two-straight 3-pointers, to give Kansas the 28-27 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half.
The Jayhawks would use that run to propel them to their largest lead of the first half, 39-30, behind a 19-3 run over 5:06, which started on Braun’s pair of 3-pointers.
In the second half, the Jayhawks continued to press on after Saint Joseph’s drew close, as KU extended its lead to double-digits at 65-55 with 10:52 remaining in the game. During the run, Braun scored five-straight points on a layup and pull-up three-pointer, with his 3-pointer surpassing his previous career-high in scoring of 20 points, set against Kansas State on January 20, 2020.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
Trailing by seven in the first half, the Jayhawks fought back behind a 19-3 run over 5:03 to take over the lead. The run began on a pair of 3-pointers by Braun and helped KU to a 44-36 lead as the teams went to the locker room. The Jayhawks would go on to pull away in the second half, led by Braun’s 30 points. In the final minute, KU registered its largest lead of the game at 94-68, before the final of 94-72.
STAT OF THE GAME
+18 – The Jayhawk out-rebounded Saint Joseph’s, 51-33, and were led by nine rebounds from Christian Braun, which ties a career-high, and Jalen Wilson, which marks a new career-high. The last time the Jayhawks out-rebounded its opponent by 15+ came against Stanford on December 29, 2019, when the Jayhawks out-rebounded the Cardinal by 19.
NOTES (Full Notes)
- The win made Kansas 1-1 overall for the second-straight season, including the eighth time under Bill Self.
- The win improved Kansas’ series lead to 6-2, ending a one game skid against Saint Joseph’s. The Jayhawks are now 4-0 against Saint Joseph’s when Kansas is ranked in the top-10.
- The win improved Kansas to 97-13 following a loss in the Bill Self era.
- KU was led by a career-high 30 points from Christian Braun, who was joined by Ochai Agbaji (18 pts.) and Jalen Wilson (14 pts.) in double figures.
- Kansas’ Christian Braun reached double-figures for the sixth time of his career on Friday, scoring 30 points on 10-of-13 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Brown’s 30 points marks a new career-high, surpassing his previous high of 20 set against Kansas State on January 20, 2020.
- Braun’s 30 points mark the first 30+ point game for a Jayhawk since Udoka Azubuike, who scored 31 points against TCU on Senior Night (March 4, 2020).
- Braun also registered career-highs in steals (4) and tied a career-high in rebounds (9).
- In just his second-career game, freshman DaJuan Harris contributed 3 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes of play, all of which are career-highs.
- With his five minutes on Friday, redshirt senior Mitch Lightfoot appeared in his 100th game of his career. Lightfoot finished his 100th game with one point on 1-of-2 shooting from the free-throw line.
Kansas will continue its road trip as it travels to Indianapolis, Indiana to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, December 1. The game will be the 32nd in the series history between the two Blue Bloods and will tip-off at 8:30 p.m., CT on ESPN.