Robinson Steals, Jackson Scores, KU Wins 86-53

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Crouched low, arms flailing like hyperactive windmills, feet sliding like he's on a 94-foot shuffleboard, Russell Robinson is the kind of player opposing ballhandlers hate to see.

The guy isn't much of an offensive threat, but, boy, can he play defense.

Robinson had eight steals, Darnell Jackson scored 20 points, and No. 3 Kansas overwhelmed Yale 86-53 on Saturday night.

Robinson has never averaged more than 9.3 points in a season and has managed 7.5 per game this year -- seventh-best on the team. But the senior guard has been one of the Jayhawks' most indispensable players, teaming with Mario Chalmers in what may be the best defensive backcourt in college basketball.

Though he took just four shots against Yale, finishing with four points, Robinson set the tone early with his in-your-face style of defense. He had five steals by halftime and got his hands on several other passes, helping Kansas put the game out of reach in the first 10 minutes.

Robinson's intensity never wavered in 25 minutes on the court and he came off for good to a nice ovation with 4:46 remaining, finishing one steal short of the school record set by Aaron Miles against Iowa State in 2003. He also had five assists.

Chalmers and Darrell Arthur had 11 points each and Brandon Rush added 10 for the Jayhawks, who had 18 steals in improving to 13-0 for the eighth time in school history -- their best start since opening the 2004-05 season with 14 straight wins.

Yale (3-7) had won two of its previous three games and lost to Stanford by just nine early in the season. But the Bulldogs hadn't played since losing to Boston University on Dec. 11 and really never stood much of a chance against the deep and talented Jayhawks, turning it over 27 times and shooting 37 percent.

Kansas hounded Yale from the start, pressuring the Bulldogs into mistakes with fullcourt pressure, forcing them into awkward shots that caromed off the side of the backboard or barely nicked the rim -- if they hit anything at all.

Robinson and Chalmers led the charge from the start, blanketing Yale's guards from the moment they touched the ball, picking their pockets if they dribbled more than a few seconds. The Bulldogs made it easy at times, throwing passes up for grabs, out of bounds and from bad angles.

Kansas had steals on five straight possessions -- three by Robinson -- during its game-opening 18-4 run. The Jayhawks let up for a few minutes, then poured it on again, building the lead to 42-19 by halftime.

Kansas kept it going after the break, with Jackson getting a steal in the backcourt, hopping over Yale's Matt Kyle, finishing off a three-point play with a scoop shot. Rush followed with a 3-pointer, then scored on an alley-oop from Robinson -- after yet another steal -- to put the Jayhawks up 52-21.

Porter Braswell had 13 points and Eric Flato added 10 for Yale.


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