LOS ANGELES (AP) — Perry Ellis scored 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and No. 5 Kansas had another easy win on the way to the Maui Jim Maui Invitational championship game.
The Jayhawks (3-1) beat UCLA 92-73 on Tuesday night in the semifinals and will play No. 19 Vanderbilt, which defeated Wake Forest 86-64, for the title on Wednesday night.
It will be the second championship for either school. Vanderbilt won here in 1986, and Kansas won in 1996.
Frank Mason III had 16 points, Wayne Selden Jr. scored 15 and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk had 13 for Kansas in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. The Jayhawks were up 59-33 at halftime and by at least 20 points for all but the closing seconds of the second half.
Isaac Hamilton had 19 points, Aaron Holiday 16 and Tony Parker 15 for UCLA (2-2), which never put together two solid possessions in the opening 20 minutes.
There wasn’t much the Jayhawks did wrong in breaking the game open early.
In the first half they shot 57.6 percent (19 of 33) from the field, 53.3 percent (8 of 15) from 3-point range and 86.7 percent (13 of 15) from the free throw line. The Jayhawks committed only three turnovers and outrebounded the Bruins 23-15. That’s how you get a 26-point lead after 20 minutes.
It almost looked like Kansas’ 123-72 opening-round win over Division II Chaminade. But the Bruins are a team from the Pac-12 and even they couldn’t do anything to stem the tide.
Kansas finished 32 of 59 (54.2 percent) from the field and 10 of 23 (43.5 percent) on 3s.
Kansas: Jayhawks fans again were on hand in full force, making the Lahaina Civic Center feel a little like Allen Fieldhouse West. … Raef LaFrentz was the MVP when Kansas won the title in 1996. … Kansas still trails UCLA 10-8 in the all-time series. … Seven Jayhawks scored in double figures against Chaminade.
UCLA: The Bruins beat UNLV 75-73 in the opening round. … The Bruins never led in the game and it was tied for a total of 36 seconds. … UCLA shot 34.4 percent from the field (11 of 32) in the first half and went just 2 for 10 on 3s.
Kansas: No. 19 Vanderbilt in the championship game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.
UCLA: Wake Forest in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.
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