Kansas basketball players Devonté Graham, Mitch Lightfoot and Frank Mason walked through the south tunnel of Bramlage Coliseum onto the court to a chorus of boos from thousands of purple-clad Kansas State students at 6:39 p.m., Monday — about 90 minutes before tipoff for the Sunflower Showdown.
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Graham hoisted three halfcourt shots and missed them all to the delight of Wildcat fans, who were armed with signs that included, “Svi’s Walk of Shame,” referring to KU’s Svi Mykhailiuk taking extra steps before hitting a game-winning layup in the Jayhawks’ 90-88 win over K-State on Jan. 3 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Monday’s box score
Perhaps motivated — or at least focused — in a hostile atmosphere, the No. 3 Jayhawks’ nine eligible scholarship players stormed to a 74-71 victory over a Wildcat team (16-8, 5-6) that had defeated No. 2 Baylor on Saturday in Waco, Texas. KU, which was coming off a home loss to Iowa State on Saturday, improved to 21-3, 9-2.
It was junior guard Mykhailiuk who hit a big three with 2:32 left to bust a 63-63 tie and give KU a three-point lead. It turned out to be the bucket that put KU ahead for good as Frank Mason followed that hoop with two free throws and Josh Jackson one giving KU a 69-63 lead at 1:45. KSU did whittle the lead to 72-69 on a Kamau Stokes three, but Devonté Graham hit two free throws at :16.3 to up the lead back to five.
Mykhailiuk finished with eight points on a night Mason tallied 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting.
Also, Jackson had 18 points and Graham 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Bragg scored six points with three rebounds in his return to action. He appeared to injury an ankle early in the second half, but did return to the game.
K-State was led by Dean Wade, who had 20 points. Stokes had 16, D.J. Johnson 14 and Wesley Iwundu 13. Iwundu had 11 rebounds and Stokes eight.
KU, which trailed by as many as 12 points (20-8) the first half but surged to a 37-35 lead by intermission, used a 10-3 run to grab a commanding 47-38 lead with 17:49 to play. Jackson opened that run with a pair of threes, followed by buckets by Landen Lucas (seven rebounds, seven points) and Mason.
However, KSU was far from finished, cutting the gap to 56-54, at 7:30, and regaining the lead, 60-59, on a Wade hoop at 4:21. Mason hit two free throws at 4:21 to put KU back on top, 61-60.
In the first half, KU’s Jackson had 11 points with three steals and three rebounds, while Mason had eight points and Bragg six with two rebounds in nine minutes. Wade had 10 points, Stokes nine and Johnson and Iwundu seven for KSU.
K-State stormed to an early 13-5 lead, thanks to five points from Wade and three from Stokes and Johnson and a bucket from Barry Brown.
K-State led, 20-8, at 14:01. However, Bragg scored four straight points to open a 20-7 run that gave KU a 28-27, advantage at 3:51. Bragg also closed that run with a bucket, giving him six points at that point and KU the lead.
After a Wesley Iwundu three put the Wildcats back in front, 29-28, Jackson scored a bucket and Graham followed with a three and KU led, 33-29, at 2:55. KU upped the lead to 37-31, at 1:44, however the Cats closed the half on a 4-0 run with Stokes hitting a three and Iwundu one free throw to slice the gap to 37-35 at halftime.
The Jayhawks will meet Texas Tech at 1 p.m., Saturday, in Lubbock, Texas.
Duval to visit Duke
Trevon Duval, a 6-2 senior point guard from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., who attended the Kansas-Baylor game Wednesday as part of an official visit to KU, will visit Duke on Thursday.
Duval, the No. 3-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, will attend the Blue Devils’ game against North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duval also is considering Baylor, Arizona and Seton Hall. Duke signees Wendell Carter and Gary Trent also will attend the game along with Kevin Knox, an uncommitted guard from Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High, who is also considering North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State.
“Kansas was great. They treated me well. They showed me all their facilities and everything that they had going and overall it was a good visit,” Duval told Zagsblog.com.
“I’ve never seen nothing like that before,” he added of Allen Fieldhouse. “The environment was amazing, you could barely hear the person next to you speaking, so it was great.”
Of possible playing time available at KU, Duval said: “Basically they need someone to come in and fill in Frank’s (Mason) job really.”