LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team fell to the University of Kansas 85-45 in the second round of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse in front of 16,300 fans.
Kansas improved to 2-0, while the Eagles begin the season 0-1. The meeting was the first between the two programs all-time.
KU controlled the boards early to go on a 6-0 run to start the first four and half minutes of play.
FGCU's first points of the game came on free throws at the 15:32 mark by Reed Baker (Naples, Fla.) and the Eagles' first basket did not come until there was 12:03 left in the first half after an inbound pass from the baseline by Junior guard Ben Vega (Waukegan, Ill.) that found Kyle Marks (West Palm Beach, Fla.) in the paint for the basket and the foul. Marks would hit the free throw to cut the KU lead down to eight, 13-5.
The Jayhawks went on a 14-0 run later in the half and pushed the margin to 32-9.
At the half Kansas had a comfortable 45-13 lead and never looked back in the victory. KU dominated the paint, outscoring FGCU 40-14 inside and out-rebounding the Eagles’ 47-35. KU also forced 24 turnovers and turned those into 31 points. KU shot 49 percent for the game, while FGCU shot 23.6 percent from the field.
FGCU was three of 25 shooting in the first half, but made seven of nine free throws. The Eagles started the game one of 13 from the field as eight different players missed shots in that stretch.
KU out-rebounded FGCU 24-18 in the first half as the Eagles committed 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play.
In the second half, the Eagles shot 33.3 percent from the field and hit three three-pointers, but it was not enough as the Eagles fell to the Jayhawks.
R. Baker led the Eagles with 11 points, while Marks chipped in six points and a team-best six rebounds.
KU was led by Cole Aldrich who finished with 12 points, as well as six rebounds, three blocks and three steals, Marcus Morris pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and made a game-best four steals, and Sherron Collins finished with a career high 25 points.
The Eagles will continue play as they host North Carolina Central at Alico Arena on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m.