March 20, 2008
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OMAHA, Neb - Brandon Rush had 18 points and Darrell Arthur had 17 as the top-seeded University of Kansas men's basketball team downed No. 16 seed Portland State 85-61 in front of 17,162 fans in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Qwest Center. KU improved to 32-3 while Portland State ended its season 23-10.
Rush and Arthur each were strong early scoring 24 of their combined 35 points in the first half. Rush added six rebounds and two assists to his stat line while Arthur had a team-high seven rebounds. Mario Chalmers pumped in 16 points to go with four assists. Darnell Jackson rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points.
Portland State was paced by Jeremiah Dominguez with 13 points and Alex Tiefenthaler with 10.
Everything was clicking early for Kansas as the Jayhawks opened the contest with a highlight-reel assortment of dunks and 3-pointers to take a commanding 19-7 lead. Arthur had the early hot hand, scoring nine points in the first six minutes of the game.
Portland State responded with an 11-5 run to pull within six at the 9:17 mark to make the score 24-18. But the Vikings were unable to get any closer and the Jayhawks extended its lead to 49-26 at the half. Kansas shot 64.3 percent in the half and only turned the ball over three times while PSU shot 40 percent and had 10 miscues.
The Jayhawks ended the game shooting 54.1 percent from the field compared to 38.2 percent for PSU. KU owned a 38-31 advantage on the boards.
Long-range shooting proved an asset for the second-straight outing as the Jayhawks canned 12 three-pointers led by Rush with four. The 12 makes tied for the second most by a KU team in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Jayhawks will take on No. 8 UNLV on Saturday in the Qwest Center UNLV defeated No. 9 Kent State 71-58 to advance to the second round. Game time on CBS will be approximately 5:50 p.m.