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December 18, 2012

Kansas rolls past Richmond

Kansas didn't have much trouble putting away Richmond 87-59 on Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse. After the game Kansas coach Bill Self that was one of the more methodical games they have played all year. At one point Kansas' lead grew to 37.

"We've done a good job holding serve at home and playing with energy. Now we'll find out how good we are, though," Self said. "Let's be serious. The season starts Saturday. Now we can go up there and hopefully take a real enthusiastic team up there, hunker down, see how tough we are and find out a lot about ourselves."

Center Jeff Withey had another big game for Kansas. He finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He also climbed ahead of former Kansas standout Scott Pollard to having the fifth most career blocks in Kansas history.

"He is a great player. How much he has improved over his career is really impressive," Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said. "It's a credit to him and a credit to the coaches and the program. It's really impressive to see how good he has been. He has really developed a great low-post game and was able to score a little bit too easily."

Guard Naadir Tharp also had one of his better games of the season. He scored a career high 11 points and was 4-5 from the field.

"It feels really good to score, but more importantly my teammates encourage me in practice to keep shooting," Tharp said. "I know that I'm going to miss shots because that's just basketball, but if my team is encouraging me I know there is going to be a time when my shots will fall."

Kansas also executed well on the defensive end. They shut down Richmond's offense and forced the Spiders to shoot 32% from the floor.

"I feel like in some areas we are ahead of schedule, and in some areas we are not. I look at us as being the overall Kansas team from what we have seen in the past and I think we are getting better. We really just show other teams what the Fieldhouse feels like."

Up next Kansas takes on the 7th Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday. Self said the team is heading into Saturday's game with the momentum of playing a solid string of games.

"It should be fun," Self said. "We need to have a good three days of preparation and go up there feeling good about ourselves but understanding that this is going to be a true test of where we are right now. Right now, even though we played better, I still don't know. This will clear some things up for us."

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