LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Wayne Simien's return had to make No. 5 Kansas wonder what might have happened if he had not dislocated his shoulder last season.
Simien, who missed the Jayhawks' run to the NCAA title game with the injury, scored 21 points in his return, a 90-76 season-opening victory over Chattanooga.
Kansas trailed early in the game, but closed the first half with 13 straight points to take a 42-30 lead at halftime. After the break, the Jayhawks did not let up and cruised to the victory.
"I am real confident about how I have been feeling physically," Simien said. "The injury is behind me."
Simien started the run with a layup that gave Kansas the lead for good at 31-30. He then got a steal at the other end and fed Keith Langford for a 3-pointer. Langford had seven of his 24 points during the surge.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self avoided becoming the first Kansas coach since Larry Brown to lose his debut. It was also the team's 31st straight win in a home opener.
"I thought our defense was great," Self said of a unit that created 23 Chattanooga turnovers. "I thought it was really good and guys were pretty alert."
Langford, who scored 42 points in the Final Four in April, added a career-high four steals to the ninth 20-point game of his career.
"We weren't really that fluent in our offense," Langford said. "The last half of the first half, we got some defensive stops and that got the run out a little bit."
The Jayhawks also got 13 points from freshman David Padgett, who blocked five shots, and 12 from Aaron Miles.
"We let them get a couple of easy baskets," Chattanooga coach Jeff Lebo said. "They got some transition (baskets), especially in the first half."
Jason Rogan scored 22 points for Chattanooga and Ashley Champion added 20 in the first meeting of the teams since the 1994 NCAA Tournament.