Cal State Northridge: 37
What Happened: The Matadors fell behind, 10-2, clawed back to lead, 37-35, then surrendered the last 17 points, including five each by Kenny Gregory and Drew Gooden. A three-point basket and two free throws by Marco McCain and a three-point basket by John Burrell put Northridge ahead moments after Jayhawk Kirk Hinrich was assessed a technical foul. However, the Matadors' energy dissipated quickly. The taller Jayhawks controlled the boards and made numerous baskets inside.
What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Northridge center Brian Heinle, the Big Sky Conference player of the year, spent much of the half on the bench wearing a forlorn expression and a towel draped on his knees. Heinle was pulled after making one of five shots and permitting Jayhawk center Nick Collison to score at will. The Matadors were no better without the 6-foot-9 Heinle, their only starter over 6-5. Particularly devastating was a Collison putback of a missed free throw by Gooden that extended the lead to 43-37.
Winning Number: 64.5%. The Jayhawk shooting percentage was the result of most baskets coming inside five feet. At the time Northridge took its 37-35 lead, Kansas was shooting 60%. But the Jayhawks kept putting the ball in the basket and the Matadors began to miss.
Wrong Number: 11. The Matadors' rebound total. Kansas had 24.
Leading Scorers: Kansas--Gooden 13, Collison 12, Gregory 11, Jeff Boschee 11. CSUN--Burrell 13.
Leading Rebounders: Kansas--Gregory 7, Eric Chenowith 6. CSUN--Parris 3, Joey Busch 3.
Cal State Northridge: 75
What Happened: Heinle came out with more energy on offense, yet remained helpless defensively against Collison, who made 11 of 13 shots in the game. The Matadors reduced an 18-point deficit to 75-67 with 8:25 to play on several nice moves under the basket by Jeff Parris and a three-point basket and two free throws by McCain. Kansas turned the ball over three times in five possessions, but Northridge blew a chance to get closer by missing free throws and hurrying shots.
What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Burrell, who made three three-point baskets in the first half, scored only three more points. Parris, a senior forward, was the extent of the Northridge offense, scoring on dunks and quick low-post moves. However, the Jayhawks were even more potent inside, outscoring Northridge, 42-22, in the paint and forcing Northridge to take too many three-pointers, 30 in all. Kansas Coach Roy Williams, a longtime friend of Northridge Coach Bobby Braswell, pulled his starters before the Jayhawks could reach 100 points.
Winning Number: 99. The Jayhawks scored the same total in a one-point season-opening victory over UCLA. The Matadors gave up the same number in a loss to USC.
Wrong Number: Four of 17. The shooting of Heinle, who entered the game averaging 20.4 points and shooting 51%. Early in the second half, he tried to establish his presence but missed two shots and committed an offensive foul in the same possession.
Leading Scorers: Kansas--Collison 11. CSUN--Parris 12, Heinle 9, Carl Holmes 9.
Leading Rebounders: Kansas--Collison 6, Gregory 4. CSUN--Parris 7.