Lawrence, KS – Ben McLemore put home a game-high 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks used a huge second half to come away with a 69-55 win over Chattanooga at Allen Fieldhouse.
Elijah Johnson finished with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Jeff Withey added 11 points and 10 boards for Kansas (2-1), which bounced back from a loss to Michigan State on Tuesday.
Farad Cobb scored 21 points to go with five rebounds, while Zaccheus Mason and Drazen Zlovaric donated 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Mocs. (1-1).
"We're not satisfied with losing, but I think we saw a lot of promise from our end," said Chattanooga coach John Shulman.
Mason drained a deep three-pointer early in the second half to put Chattanooga up 42-30, but Kansas then woke up and delivered a knockout blow in the form of a 19-1 surge, to go ahead 49-43 with just under 13 minutes to play.
McLemore and Johnson combined to score 14 points during the run, which was capped by a Naadir Thorpe three-ball, forcing Chattanooga to call a timeout.
Kansas continued to score at will the rest of the game, holding the Mocs to just 19 points in the second half en route to the victory.
"I thought the first half was the worst we've played and the second half was the best we've played all year," said Kansas coach Bill Self.
Chattanooga got off to a quick start as a 3-pointer by Mason gave the visitors an early 10-5 lead, but it remained close as a layup by Perry Ellis pulled Kansas within three with just over 11 minutes to play in the opening half.
Chattanooga then used a quick 7-2 spurt to open a 24-16 advantage with 6:54 on the clock. A jumper by Withey made it 24-20, but Chattanooga responded with a 6-0 flurry, capped by a Cobb trey, to widen the lead to 30-20 with less than four minutes to go in the first stanza.
The Mocs took a 36-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Kansas has won all three matchups between these two teams, with the previous result being a 90-76 decision on Nov. 21, 2003 ... Kansas shot 44.1 percent from the floor, while Chattanooga shot 35.1 percent ... The Jayhawks won the battle on the boards, 41-35 ... Chattanooga is 3-48 all-time against ranked opponents.