LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – Freshman Devonte’ Graham scored 14 points off the bench, Perry Ellis had 13 points and 10 rebounds and No. 5 Kansas beat UC-Santa Barbara 69-59 in a sloppy opener Friday night.
Frank Mason III added 12 points and Wayne Selden Jr. had 10 for the Jayhawks, who committed 16 turnovers, struggled with their shooting and didn’t put away the pesky Gauchos until a late big charge midway through the second half provided a comfortable cushion.
The defending Big 12 champions had better solve their ills in a hurry. They have a date with top-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Alan Williams led Santa Barbara with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
The Jayhawks won their 42nd straight season opener at Allen Fieldhouse, but it certainly wasn’t easy. A team that lost freshmen sensations Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to the NBA draft had to rely on a bevy of freshmen, and it showed throughout the first half.