LAWRENCE | Cole Aldrich’s sheer size and determination saved the Kansas Jayhawks from embarrassment on Tuesday night in a 91-84 victory over Siena at Allen Fieldhouse.
Other than Aldrich’s 24 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, KU won’t have many positives to take into their Saturday showdown at Michigan State.
The Jayhawks allowed Siena to scorch the nets for a 48-percent clip (32 of 67) from the floor – the Saints also shot 48 percent (10 of 21) from 3-point range.
KU, 11-3, led 30-10 early thanks to a 25-1 run. But after that, Siena controlled the game and whittled the Jayhawks’ lead all the way down to four at 69-65 with around seven minutes left. KU responded, building an 81-71 advantage, but Siena would not go away, bringing the score to within 87-82 with 50 seconds left.
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Siena’s second-half surge was led by Ronald Moore’s 14 points. Moore, the Saints’ point guard, more than equaled KU’s Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor all night long. He finished with 18 points, eight assists and three steals.
The Saints, however, simply had no answer for the 6-foot-11 Aldrich. He made nine of 13 shots and six of nine free throws.Collins finished with 18 points, but he had five turnovers and just four assists.
Siena, 10-5, played the Jayhawks to the same margin as Tennessee did on Saturday when the Jayhawks won 92-85.