LAWRENCE, Kan. – Thomas Robinson had a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 3 Kansas beat Texas-Arlington 82-57 on Wednesday night.
Robinson was making his first start because Marcus Morris was benched for getting ejected in the previous game. Morris finished with 13 points as Kansas extended its school-record home court winning streak to 66 games. His brother Markieff had 14 points.
Bo Ingram led Texas-Arlington (5-5) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. The Mavericks of the Southland Conference came in as heavy underdogs and had never beaten a ranked opponent. They were 3-50 against teams from the Big 12, but only trailed by 12 points early in the second half.
While the Jayhawks (12-0) looked sluggish after two-a-day practices during the Christmas break, Texas-Arlington dove for loose balls, fought for rebounds and for the first 25 minutes or so frequently outhustled Kansas down the court.
Kansas, one of eight unbeaten Div. I teams starting the week, led only 58-46 about midway through the second half and called time out after LaMarcus Reed II and Darius Richardson scored.
Then Marcus Morris, who came off the bench at the 11:51 mark of the first half, ignited a 14-2 run with a free throw and dunk. Twin brother Markieff Morris capped the spurt with a big dunk for a 72-48 lead.
For the rest of the night, it was all Kansas.
Travis Releford had a 3-pointer for a 69-48 lead at the 6:10 mark, Markieff Morris pulled down an offensive rebound and got a put-back and then made a free throw.
Robinson, a 6-foot-9 sophomore who hadn't started all year, scored Kansas' first seven points of the second half after Ingram's bucket had sliced the lead to 36-30.
The Mavericks, trying to avoid their first winless December since 1959, went on an early 11-2 run and silenced the sellout crowd at Allen Fieldhouse which expected a wire-to-wire rout. When Ingram made a 3-pointer from the wing, the visitors suddenly had a 14-11 lead.
After Robinson missed two free throws, the Cavaliers went up 16-11 on a dunk by Reed.
It was 18-13 when Marcus Morris' bucket was followed by Elijah Johnson's 3-pointer and the Jayhawks were off on a 15-2 spree. Marcus Morris, who did not start because he got ejected from the previous game, ended the run with a 3-pointer from the corner at the 5:12 mark.