Kansas Knocks Off Pepperdine
Friday, December 3rd 1999, 12:00 am
News On 6
Kenny Gregory and Nick Bradford helped a sluggish Kansas take charge in the second half and the sixth-ranked Jayhawks overcame a ragged start to beat Pepperdine 76-61 Thursday night.
The Jayhawks (5-0), seeing their first action since winning the Great Alaska Shootout, struggled throughout the first half and did not take the lead until Jeff Boschee's 3-pointer made it 21-20 with 7:05 left.
Forced into 14 turnovers by Pepperdine's alternating pressure defense, Kansas led only 33-30 at halftime and quickly fell behind 39-37 on a 3-pointer by Texale Archie.
But then Gregory and Bradford each scored to trigger a 16-3 run against the Waves (3-2), who came in as 22-point underdogs.
Drew Gooden, the 6-foot-9 freshman who was named MVP in the Alaska tournament, ended the run with a crowd-pleading three-point play, going in for a bucket and then canning a free throw for a 53-42 lead after getting fouled by Kelvin Gibbs.
The Jayhawks, 5-0 for the fifth time in six seasons, held their biggest lead at 67-52 before Pepperdine's Brandon Armstrong canned two straight 3-pointers. Then, with 3:48 left, Archie hit a
3-pointer that sliced the lead to 69-61.
Boschee then made three of four free throws over the next minute and Gregory moved in for a layup that brought the near-sellout crowd to its feet and gave Kansas a 74-61 lead. Gregory had 17
points for Kansas while Gooden and Nick Collison each had 12.
Kansas, 22-2 all-time against West Coast Conference teams, outrebounded the shorter Waves 41-26 and committed only six turnovers in the second half. But Pepperdine held the Jayhawks 19
points below the 95 they had been averaging.
Armstrong and Archie each scored 14 points for Pepperdine.