February 11, 2013
For the first time in more than 30 years, No. 10/11 Kansas State (19-5, 8-3) came to Allen Fieldhouse ranked higher than No. 14/13 Kansas (20-4, 8-3). On Feb. 20, 1982, Kansas was receiving votes, while Kansas State was No. 18 and left with the 63-53 victory. The visitors from Manhattan, Kan., were unable to repeat on Monday night. After scoring the game’s first points, the Wildcats wouldn’t lead for the rest of the contest.
Kansas took its recent offensive frustrations out on its rivals, chalking up 47 points in the opening half, KU’s most in conference play this season. The Jayhawks shot 59 percent in the opening 20 minutes and 48.3 percent for the game (28-for-58) to defeat KSU for the 11th time in their last 12 meetings and snapping their first three-game losing streak since the 2005 season.
Not only did Kansas reclaim a share of the Big 12 lead, Withey swatted his record-breaking block before the first media timeout, recording his 259th career block at the 16:28 mark. The senior center finished the night with five – and 263 for his career – passing Greg Ostertag’s 258 for the most blocked shots in Kansas basketball history. The senior from San Diego, Calif., ended his historic evening with his eighth double-double of the year, tallying 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The prestigious record shared the spotlight with birthday boy, Ben McLemore. The redshirt freshman turned 20 on Monday and in the first half alone, McLemore racked up 17 points, missing only one field goal while sinking three treys and all four free throws. His big night saw him total 30 points, his most since chalking up his career-high 33 points against Iowa State, on 9-for-13 shooting, including six three-pointers to tie his career high.
McLemore became the first player in Kansas history to rack up two 30-point games in conference play. Jayhawk legend Danny Manning also surpassed the 30-point mark twice as a freshman, but only one was in league play.
Doing the dishing was sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe, who posted eight assists for his most in a Big 12 game. Senior forward Kevin Young was a rebound shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, while fellow senior Travis Releford contributed 10 points and four rebounds. Kansas dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Wildcats, 41-23.
Kansas State senior guard and leading scorer Rodney McGruder, who racked up 40 points on 54 percent shooting in his last two outings combined, was held to a single bucket in the first half. In fact, the Wildcats didn’t a have scorer in double-figures until sophomore Angel Rodriguez did so in the opening minutes of the second half.
McGruder didn’t stay quiet for long, finding his groove in the second half and leading all Wildcat scorers with 20 points. Rodriguez finished with 17, while sophomore big man Thomas Gipson fouled out without scoring.
The first buckets of the game were nothing short of a dead sprint, setting the tone for a high-tempo game suitable for the intense rivalry. A pair of layups for both sides got the game off and running before Releford drilled the first three of the game. Junior guard Will Spradling immediately answered with a three on the other end, but it was Kansas that kept sprinting.
Pressuring early, Kansas forced the Wildcats to miss nine of their first 12 shots. The Jayhawks took full advantage, jolting out to an 11-3 run midway through the first half. Back-to-back dunks from Young and Withey, followed by a three from McLemore forced a Bruce Weber timeout as KU surged ahead, 21-10.
On the heels of McLemore’s second three of the game, the Jayhawks were outshooting the Wildcats 61 to 31 percent as they watched their lead skyrocket. Under the final media timeout of the first half, McLemore’s made free throws pushed Kansas over the 20-point margin for the first of many times on Monday. Rattled, KSU returned to its end of the floor where a broken play resulted in a pass sailing directly out of bounds.
Junior guard Shane Southwell tried to break the Jayhawk momentum with a late three pointer, but a well-executed play from sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe to Young gave KU an easy bucket under the basket as time expired. Kansas took a 47-29 lead to half. After three-straight games of trailing at halftime, the Jayhawks came back with its largest halftime lead in conference play.
The second half saw no sign of slowing down for the Kansas offense, who came out firing at a 50 percent clip. Again Weber asked for the timeout, with his team trailing 63-43, but it did little to slow the Jayhawks.
McLemore’s fifth three-pointer propelled the home team to its largest lead of the night, 75-50, all but breaking the Wildcats with eight minutes remaining.
Late free throws from seniors Elijah Johnson and Withey coasted the Jayhawks into the final minute and McLemore added one more three to seal the deal at 83-62.
No. 14/13 Kansas will stay in Lawrence and welcome the Texas Longhorns to Allen Fieldhouse for ESPN College Gameday, Saturday at 8 p.m.
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No. 14/13 Kansas 83, No. 10/11 Kansas State 62
Feb. 11, 2013
KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts): C Jeff Withey (24/64), G Elijah Johnson (24/70), G Ben McLemore (24/24), F Travis Releford (24/66), F Kevin Young (20/20)
SERIES INFO: Kansas leads 185-91
· Makes Kansas 20-4 on the season.
· Gives KU 20 wins for the 24th-consecutive season and 30th time in the last 31 seasons (starting in 1983-84).
· Gives KU its eighth win in as many games versus a higher-ranked opponent inside Allen Fieldhouse dating back to 2005-06. It happened three times last year – vs. Missouri, Baylor and Ohio State; two times in 2008-09 – vs. Missouri and Tennessee; and two times in 2005-06 – vs. Oklahoma and Kentucky.
· Gives Kansas its largest margin of victory over Kansas State (83-62) since the Jayhawks took down the Wildcats 97-70 Feb. 7, 2007 in Lawrence.
· Makes KU 8-3 or better in conference play for the sixth-straight season.
· Makes the KU-KSU series 185-91 in favor of the Kansas.
· Improves their record of games played on Mondays to 5-0 this season
· Gives KU its 11th win against KSU in its last 12 meetings.
· Gives KU its seventh-straight win against KSU in Allen Fieldhouse.
· Makes KU 694-108 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 157-8 under Bill Self.
· Improves Bill Self to 289-57 while at Kansas, 496-162 overall and 21-3 all-time against KSU, 20-3 while at KU.
· Makes KU 2,090-810 all-time.
· KU’s 47 first-half points were the most scored in a half of a Big 12 game this season and the third-highest point total in a half in 2012-13.
· Kansas’ 18-point halftime lead (47-29) was its largest in a conference game this year and enjoyed its eighth double-figure halftime lead of the season.
· After KSU cut the Kansas lead to four at the 11:47 mark in the first half, the Jayhawks outscored the Wildcats 31-19 over the final 11 minutes of the opening period.
· The Jayhawks put in 58.6 percent (17-of-29) of their first half field goal attempts, their third-highest shooting percentage in a half of a conference this year (60.9 at Texas Tech, 2nd half; 59.1 percent at West Virginia, 1st half).
· KU held the KSU bench to just four points, tying for the fewest by a Jayhawk opponent this year. Kansas allowed only four points from the Temple bench on Jan. 6, 2013.
· Kansas outrebounded the Wildcats 41-to-23 (+18), its second-highest rebounding margin of the year and best in Big 12 play. KU outrebounded the Richmond Spiders by 20 on Dec. 18.
· KU saw four players in double-figures for the seventh time this season and first since the Jayhawks’ win over Iowa State on Jan. 9 in Lawrence.
· The Jayhawks connected on 19-of-22 free throws for an 86.4 percentage, the team’s best shooting from the charity stripe in conference play and third-highest of the season (90.9 percent vs. Washington State and 88.9 percent vs. Temple).
· Freshman G Ben McLemore’s 30 points marked his second 30-point game of the year, marking the first time a freshman has tallied two 30-point games in a season since Danny Manning scored 30 vs. Kentucky (Dec. 31, 1984) and 35 vs. Oklahoma State (March 2, 1985). It is the first time in school history a freshman has turned in two 30-point games in conference play.
· McLemore’s six three pointers tied a career high. The freshman connected on six treys in the 97-89 overtime win over Iowa State (Jan. 9, 2013) when he ended the night with 33 points.
· With his block on KSU’s Thomas Gibson at the 16:28 mark in the first half, senior C Jeff Withey become the career-blocks leader at Kansas, amassing a total of 263 rejections after collecting five Monday night. The game marks his ninth contest this season with five or more blocks. He is now one block shy of tying the Big 12 all-time blocks record (Chris Mihm, Texas, 264).
· Withey’s 17 points and 10 rebounds gave the senior his eighth double-double of the season and 14th of his career, marking the first Jayhawk to earn a double-double since Withey went for 11 points and 10 rebounds against Kansas State in Manhattan (Jan. 22). His 14 DD’s now ties him with Markieff Morris, Kelly Knight and Herb Nobles for 12th on KU’s all-time double-doubles chart.
· Sophomore G Naadir Tharpe dished eight assists on the night, his second highest assist total of his career and most since he notched 12 dimes against American Dec. 29, 2012.
· Senior F Kevin Young tallied one steal versus Kansas State. He is the only Jayhawk to record at least one theft in each Big 12 contest this year, bringing his current streak to 11 games with at least one steal.