No. 1 Kansas overwhelms NC Central 99-56

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Tuesday, November 7, 2023
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WTVD) -- Hunter Dickinson had 21 points and eight rebounds in his Kansas debut, Kevin McCullar Jr. made four 3-pointers and finished with 22 points and the top-ranked Jayhawks cruised to a 99-56 victory over North Carolina Central on Monday night.

Kansas had five players in double-figures scoring, including Dickinson, the Michigan transfer, and one of the most sought-after players to enter the portal. He had seven points, two boards and a block 90 seconds in, including the first of three 3-pointers that showed the 7-foot-2 center is more than just a beast on the block.

Nic Timberlake had 13 points, KJ Adams scored 12 and Dajuan Harris Jr. dished out 10 assists for Kansas, which led 59-17 by halftime before coasting over the final 20 minutes to its 51st consecutive home-opening win.

Ja'Darius Harris had 12 points to lead the Eagles.

Any doubt about the outcome was gone midway through the first half when the Jayhawks went on a 20-2 run to take a 40-11 lead. McCullar scored eight during the spurt, and transfer forward Parker Braun added a highlight alley-oop dunk.

Dickinson had 17 points, seven boards and four assists by halftime; the Eagles had 18 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

The Eagles scored 38 points in the last 20 minutes, two shy of Kansas' 40 points. Josh Smith provided a spark off the bench going 4-for-5 for 11 points, all coming in the second half for NCCU.

NC Central will find life much easier in the MEAC, where the Eagles were picked to finish third this season.

They'll host their home opener on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Virginia University of Lynchburg.

The Associated Press contributed.