LAWRENCE, Kan., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Wayne Simien helped top-ranked Kansas avert what would have been a giant upset by scoring 25 points Friday night as the Jayhawks held back Vermont, 68-61.
Simien added 14 rebounds while Keith Langford and J.R. Giddens both had 12 in the Jayhawks' season opener.
Vermont trailed by just three points at the break and took a 41-40 lead six minutes deep in the second period. After falling behind, the Catamounts went on a 16-8 tear to go up by four with 4:30 to play.
Two free throws by Christian Moody at the 2:30 mark, however, put the Jayhawks ahead to stay.
Taylor Coppenrath led Vermont with 23 points.