LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- After a tough victory over Vermont in the season-opener cost them the top spot in the polls, second-ranked Kansas came out looking to prove the voters wrong.
Preseason Player of the Year candidate Wayne Simien had a double-double in the first half and finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Jayhawks to a 91-51 rout of Saint Joseph's.
Simien, who had 25 points and 14 rebounds in Kansas' 68-61 squeaker over Vermont on November 19, posted 14 points and 11 boards before halftime. It was the 24th double-double of his career for the Jayhawks, who improved to 2-0 for the third straight season and the 12th time in the last 13 years.
"There are a lot of good things we can take from this win," said coach Bill Self, who earned his 26th win at Kansas. "They are a good team and will get a lot better from here. It was a fun night that we needed to get our swagger back."
"I think we were more in-sync on defense," Simien said. "We came out and got stops. They came at us with a full court press for almost the entire game, especially in the first half and I think we handled the pressure very well which led to a lot of easy buckets."
The Jayhawks held a slight edge, 16-10, midway through the first half, but utilized a 34-9 run over the next 10 minutes to notch a 50-19 lead at the intermission.
Michael Lee scored 13 points with a career-high four steals and Aaron Miles added 11 for Kansas, which shot 63 percent (35-of-56) while limiting Saint Joseph's shooters to 30 percent (16-of-34).
"They missed a lot of shots," Self said. "We did some good things against them defensively. (Saint Joseph's) is playing short-handed. That wasn't the same team as last year for them. They lost two great players and (Pat) Carroll wasn't there. They will get a lot better pretty fast. He (Phil Martelli) is a terrific coach."
Freshman Russell Robinson posted 10 points and five assists and classmate Darnell Jackson added eight.
"The more touches you get, the more buckets will open up for everybody," Russell said. "We tried to play to our advantages and passing is one of our advantages."
Fellow freshman C.J. Giles scored eight points and had three of the nine blocks for the Jayhawks, whose reserves outscored the Hawks' counterparts, 47-8.
"Our starters only scored 44 points and we won by 40," Self said. "I wouldn't have expected that before the game started. Looking at our schedule, I didn't know if there was going to be a game where we could get the young guys some minutes."
Saint Joseph's, which lost National Player of the Year Jameer Nelson and Delonte West to the NBA, opened its season with a loss after an undefeated regular season in 2003-04.
Dwayne Lee scored 12 points and Chet Stachitas and Dwayne Jones each added 11 for the Hawks, who were without returning starter Pat Carroll due to a shoulder injury.
"I don't mean this in a disrespectful way, but we brought boys and played against men," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. "We were not ready to play against this level of competition, in this setting. Hopefully the next opportunity we get on Saturday, we will be ready to individually and collectively play better. I don't think any of our guys cloaked themselves in valor here tonight. This is not something that you want to go through too often."