Vaughn Shuts Down Nash, Kansas Wins

From Associated Press

To fully appreciate the dominance of Kansas point guard Jacque Vaughn in Sunday's 76-51 West Regional victory over Santa Clara, don't bother looking at his line in the box score.

Look instead at the statistics of his counterpart, Steve Nash.

Nash, who had 28 points in a first-round victory over Maryland, missed his first eight shots and finished with seven points on one-for-11 shooting as Kansas opened a 12-0 lead and never was threatened by the Broncos.

"I'm the prototype point guard," said Vaughn, who had two points and six assists. "I'm not going to worry about the points."

The game was billed as a showcase for two of the nation's top point guards. But with Vaughn shutting down Nash in the opening half and Kansas center Raef LaFrentz dominating inside, it quickly became a rout.

"Everything goes back to the first 10 minutes. We really took it on the chin early," Nash said. "They got some inside baskets. I had a chance to answer with outside shots. That's what my job is, and I didn't do it."

LaFrentz made his first seven shots and scored 19 points as the Jayhawks reached the Round of 16 for the fourth year in a row. They will face Arizona in the regional semifinal Friday in Denver. Santa Clara has not reached the third round of the NCAA tournament since 1954.

LaFrentz made nine of 10 shots from the field. Jerod Haase added 12 points for the Jayhawks, who held Santa Clara to only 25% shooting.

Kevin Dunne, the only Santa Clara player in double figures, had 10 points. The Broncos never scored two consecutive unanswered baskets.

Kansas held the jittery Broncos scoreless for the game's opening 4:43. The Jayhawks led, 46-22, at halftime and held a margin of at least 17 points throughout the second half.

Santa Clara was tormented by air balls and bad passes in the first half, making nine of 34 shots. Nash missed all six of his shots in the half.

Kansas opened a quick 28-12 lead and took a 20-point lead with 5:11 left before the break. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Broncos, 28-17, in the half.

The Jayhawks built their lead to 25 points early in the second half and shrugged aside Santa Clara's only mini-run of the game. Nash, held scoreless until 14:23 remained in the game, made four consecutive free throws to pull the Broncos within 49-32, but Billy Thomas made a three-point basket to restore Kansas' 20-point margin.

Nash made his only shot of the game with 11:50 left while Vaughn was taking a break.

The final indignity for Santa Clara came with 5:21 left when Adam Anderson shot an air ball on a free throw.

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