No. 7 Kansas beats SE Missouri State, 74-55

No. 7 Kansas beats SE Missouri State, 74-55
November 9, 2012, 10:24 pm
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Southeast Missouri State forward Nino Johnson (1) blocks a shot by Kansas forward Perry Ellis, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(APWF)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Ben McLemore had nine points, 12 rebounds and five assists in his Kansas debut, and the seventh-ranked Jayhawks pulled away from pesky Southeast Missouri State for a 74-55 season-opening victory Friday night.

Jeff Withey finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Perry Ellis added 15 points and eight boards for the Jayhawks, who have won 40 straight season openers at Allen Fieldhouse.

This one was a bit tougher than expected.

The Redhawks managed to close within six midway through the second half, but Kansas slowly extended the lead behind its slew of freshmen to put the game away.

Nick Niemczyk finished with 14 points for the Redhawks, who have lost seven straight season openers, all on the road, and remain winless in six tries against Big 12 schools.