LAWRENCE — Playing its final game ahead of an 18-day getaway, Kansas basketball delivered to its home fans a pleasant parting memory.

Silvio De Sousa made sure of it.

The No. 4-ranked Jayhawks raced out to an 18-point lead in the first 12 minutes of Tuesday night’s game against East Tennessee State, then survived a sloppy second half en route to a 75-63 victory in their final effort ahead of a three-game stay from Nov. 25-27 in Lahaina, Hawaii, for the Maui Invitational tournament. KU’s next game inside Allen Fieldhouse will come against an old Big 12 foe, a 6 p.m. Dec. 7 tilt versus Colorado.

The Jayhawks (3-1) set the tone early Tuesday, but carelessness and ineffective shooting in the second half opened the door for the Buccaneers to chip away — KU committed eight turnovers and went 4 for 14 from the floor out of the intermission, its 12-point halftime advantage cut to five, 61-56, on a Patrick Good trey with 5:55 left.

“I really like their team. They’re going to be really good,” KU coach Bill Self said of ETSU. “They’re veterans and they can stretch it. They made some hard shots late to get back in it, but I thought we closed the game out pretty well.”

After a pair of calming Marcus Garrett free-throw makes, the junior forward De Sousa kick-started the game's most pivotal sequence, initiating a steal with a perimeter poke and flushing through a dunk on the other end on a lob pass initiated by Devon Dotson.

"I think it was great," KU starting center Udoka Azubuike said of De Sousa's performance. "After I got subbed because I was tired, he came in and brought the energy. He pretty much helped us win the game. That's what we want him to do every time. He came in and it really helped us."

Dotson then hit two free throws of his own with 4:23 left to finish the 6-0 run and once again re-establish a double-figure lead, where it hovered the rest of the way.

De Sousa, who after playing sparingly for most of the game entered with 5:44 left, scored six points with two blocks, a steal and a rebound the remainder of the game. He finished the game with eight points and three blocks in nine minutes.

“Doke (Azubuike) was by far our best offensive player tonight, by far. Second half, he was great. But I thought Silvio had as much to do with us winning the game as anybody,” Self said. “He hadn’t had a chance to play, put him in and defensively he was terrific. ... Had one great finish — that was probably the play of the game.

“I thought Silvio did well and it was good to see because he hadn’t really had a chance to contribute in a way that I know he’s capable of and he knows he’s capable of. But he did a nice job tonight in limited minutes.”

Early on, KU looked like it would cakewalk into its departure to The Aloha State.

Dotson erupted for 13 points in the game’s first 10 minutes, orchestrating an offensive attack that jumped out to a 31-13 advantage with 7:40 left in the opening period. By that time, KU held a 22-2 advantage in points in the paint, a 14-2 edge in points off turnovers and a 10-2 lead in fastbreak points, the last of those most attributable to the speedster Dotson.

ETSU (3-1) started 2-for-12 from the floor, continuing a two-game trend of stout defense from the Jayhawks from the opening tip — Monmouth, who KU defeated 112-57 last Friday, started that game 0-for-12 shooting and finished with an only 30-percent clip from the floor.

KU, meanwhile, connected on 14 of 21 shots to start Tuesday’s game, at one point reeling off an 18-2 run. Dotson got the fun started with a steal and fastbreak layup, De Sousa continued it with an explosive dunk out of a timeout on a lob pass from Garrett, and Dotson and Tristan Enaruna later capped the successful stretch with back-to-back layups to push the lead to 17.

“I thought it was the best 10 minutes of basketball we played all year to start the game, and that’s not making shots from the perimeter," Self said. "If you’d have told me before the game they’d have outscored us by 24 points from 3, I’d say we’d be in trouble.

“I thought we did some good things. I thought defensively we were pretty good.”

Azubuike led all Jayhawks with 21 points on 10-for-13 shooting, seven rebounds and four of his team's eight blocked shots, the 7-footer the driving force on an evening where KU converted 7 of 7 dunk attempts. Dotson (19 points) and Garrett (13) rounded out the double-figure scorers for KU, which finished with a 54-24 advantage in points in the paint to help offset a 1-for-14 team effort from 3-point range.

Self said he wasn’t concerned about his team’s poor evening from distance.

“Guys, we’re going to be like this. I mean, that’s who we are,” Self said. “We’re not going to average making — what are we averaging making, a little over 10 3s a game? I mean, that’s not real. But making one is not real either. We can be a team that can shoot 35 percent from 3, 36 or 37 if we shoot it well, but we can have some bad nights because we’re streaky, and certainly on those nights you need to throw it inside. Fortunately we were able to do that.”

ETSU's Bo Hodges tallied 22 points to lead all scorers.

KU returns to action at 8 p.m. Nov. 25 against Chaminade at Lahaina Civic Center. The Jayhawks enter that game with a De Sousa whose confidence is arguably at a season-high.

“I just think (Self) trusts me and he wanted to see what I could do," De Sousa said. "I personally think he was trying to test to me to see what I could do after being on the bench for so long. I never kept my head down. I just kept going. There are going to be days like that.”

So how does De Sousa feel he performed on that test?

“I think I did pretty good. I got a 90,” De Sousa joked. “So that’s a good test for me.”