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Simien grabbed career-high 17 rebounds

2/8/2004

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Wayne Simien leaped toward the basket for
an offensive rebound, grabbed the ball and brought it down for what
should have been a thunderous dunk.

But as Kansas' junior power forward let go of the rim, the ball
bounced, hung in the air -- and dropped through.

Don't call him lucky, though. For Simien, who had 22 points and
a career-high 17 rebounds to lead Kansas (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to a 96-77 win over
Texas Tech (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) on Saturday, the basket was a reward for his
typically hard-nosed play.

"I didn't feel like things were going to come easy for me,"
Simien said. "I had some easy ones trickle out, too."

The Jayhawks (15-4, 6-1 Big 12) set a season scoring high in
handing Texas Tech (17-5, 5-3) its third loss in the last four
games and improved to 15-1 against the Red Raiders.

Kansas had not gone over the 90-point mark since beating
Tennessee-Chattanooga 90-76 in the Jayhawks' season opener. Then
again, Texas Tech's 77 points were the second-most Kansas had given
up this year.

"Do you play better when you win 96-76 than when you win
76-56?" Self said. "The fans get caught up in that more than we
do. They might think we played better today, but I can tell you
we're going to have to do better on defense if we want to win
Monday (at No. 13 Oklahoma State)."

It was the first road game for Texas Tech coach Bob Knight since
the school reprimanded him for getting into an argument with
chancellor David Smith on Monday at a Lubbock salad bar.

The capacity crowd of 16,300 in Allen Fieldhouse jeered Knight
before the game, many waving signs that read "Red Rager," and
again on the several occasions when the coach argued with
officials.

Knight kept his cool well enough to avoid any technical fouls,
even drawing a laugh when he held up a finger to ask for the
crowd's patience while he contested a call.

It was the Jayhawks who got hot, hitting 9 of 20 3-point tries
and outshooting Texas Tech 51 percent (36-for-71) to 38 percent
(23-for-60) from the field.

Over one stretch in the second half, when the Jayhawks finally
began to pull away, the Red Raiders went nine minutes without a
field goal.

Kansas hit its first five 3-point tries and shot 14-for-19 (74
percent) from the field in just over 12 minutes to open the game.

"We just ran our offense, and it worked," said point guard
Aaron Miles, who led Kansas with nine assists. "Everything we've
been working on just clicked for us."

But the Jayhawks went 4-for-14 to close out the first half, and
Texas Tech was still within striking distance when Andre Emmett hit
two free throws to cut Kansas' lead to 63-54 with 13:21 left in the
game.

The Jayhawks responded with an 11-0 run, highlighted by
3-pointers from J.R. Giddens and Michael Lee, for a 74-54 lead with
8:37 remaining.

"Boy, it's sure a fun game when you make shots," Self said.

By the time Emmett scored inside with 5:04 to go -- the Red
Raiders' first field goal since Devonne Giles' basket with 14:04
left -- Kansas led 82-61.

"Their offense was better than anything we could come up with
on both sides of the ball," Knight said. "You can't just talk
about one guy. You have to talk about the entire team.

"They looked to each other, they got the ball out to their
shooters and their shooters were able to hit it," said Knight, who
did not make his own players available for interviews. "When they
could get the ball inside, they made key points inside."

Emmett was 8-for-20 from the field but 13-for-15 from the free
throw line, leading the Red Raiders with 29 points.

The Jayhawks had their biggest lead, 94-67, on Omar Wilkes'
bucket with 2{ minutes remaining.

Giddens hit four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, and
freshman center David Padgett added 16 points for the Jayhawks.

Giles fouled out with 15 points, and Josh Washington added 10
points for Texas Tech.