Kansas City, MO – Jeff Withey tied a career high with 25 points and blocked six shots as the No. 12 Kansas Jayhawks downed Saint Louis, 73-59, in the championship contest of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
Travis Releford 21 of his 23 points in the first half for the Jayhawks (4-1), who had bested Washington State in the semifinal round. Ben McLemore totaled 11 points and six rebounds in the victory.
Cody Ellis poured in 19 points and snagged eight boards for the Billikens (2-2), who reached the final with a win over Texas A&M. Mike McCall added 13 points and Cory Remekun had 10 in defeat.
Releford hit back-to-back triples and totaled seven points as the Jayhawks raced out to a 14-4 lead in the first 6:18 of the contest.
McCall's bucket capped a quick 6-0 Billikens burst to make it a four-point game, but Kansas ripped off a 14-0 run to seize control for good.
Withey contributed a layup and dunk to start the clip and Releford added two more from beyond the arc, the last one for a 28-10 game with less than eight minutes to play in the half.
Kansas was up 39-25 at the break thanks to two from the line by Withey.
An Elijah Johnson make from long distance provided the Jayhawks with their largest lead of the second half, 18 points, at 57-39 with 10:51 to play.
Saint Louis never closed its gap below double digits for the rest of the contest.
Kansas, which has won 13 of the 16 all-time meetings, takes on San Jose State next Monday in Lawrence ... Saint Louis hosts Southern Illinois on Saturday ... Johnson ended with five points and seven assists ... Dwayne Evans recorded a game-high 12 rebounds for the Billikens.