|No. 3 Kansas 59, No. 11 Kansas St. 55|
Percentages: FG .457, FT .619. 3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (Releford 2-3, McLemore 1-2, Johnson 1-3, Young 0-1, Tharpe 0-4). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (McLemore 2, Ellis). Turnovers: 13 (Johnson 5, McLemore 3, Withey 3, Young, Tharpe). Steals: 6 (Johnson 2, Young, McLemore, Tharpe, Releford). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .351, FT .857. 3-Point Goals: 9-30, .300 (Southwell 5-11, McGruder 3-9, Rodriguez 1-5, Spradling 0-5). Team Rebounds: 0. Blocked Shots: 5 (Henriquez 3, Gipson, Southwell). Turnovers: 10 (Gipson 2, McGruder 2, Rodriguez 2, Spradling, Irving, Henriquez, Southwell). Steals: 6 (Spradling 2, Rodriguez 2, Southwell, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–12,528. Officials–Mark Whitehead, Rick Hartzell, Doug Sirmons.
Bramlage Coliseum was rocking Tuesday night. Fans began camping out for seats early in the morning, and the student section was packed full an hour before tip-off. The crowd was loud throughout and gave K-State a noticeable boost. It was a nice change from early games, when the Wildcats played in front of rows of empty seats. Those days seem to be in the past, though. With football season over, classes back in session and K-State ranked in the top 15 it should play in front of big crowds the rest of the way. KU coach Bill Self was certainly glad to leave the environment with a victory. “Anytime you win over here you feel very fortunate,” Self said.
K-State junior guard Shane Southwell, who joined the starting lineup last month by moving to a hybrid forward position, is quickly becoming a go-to player for the Wildcats. He scored 17 points and came up with a game-saving block against West Virginia two weeks ago and scored a season-high 19 points on Tuesday. He also grabbed seven rebounds. It was a much different performance against the Jayhawks than last season, when Kansas schemed around him. “He would have to get my vote for the most improved player in our league,” Self said. “Last year we played triangle-and-two and the guy we didn’t guard was Shane … He was probably their best offensive threat tonight.” Southwell said he thought he played well, but could have easily connected on more than five three-pointers he made. Losing meant he couldn’t enjoy the impressive individual effort. “They win all the time,” Southwell said. “We have got to start getting some wins against them.”
Bruce Weber used K-State’s final timeout with 3:46 remaining. Not an ideal situation for any coach, but with Kansas leading down the stretch he didn’t want the game to get away. So he wasn’t shy about calling timeout and talking strategy with his players. The move almost worked, with K-State pulling to within 56-53 in the final minute, but Kansas had multiple timeouts and fouls to play with to maintain the lead.