On this night, especially in the first half, Kansas sophomore point guard Naadir Tharpe did a brilliant job of doing what point guards are supposed to do, which is to bring out the best in the other four players on the floor, Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan writes.• Box score• KU coach Bill Self postgame audio
Kansas coach Bill Self talks after the Jayhawks' 59-55 victory over Kansas State on Jan. 22, 2013.
Kansas seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 59-55 victory over Kansas State on Jan. 22, 2013.
Kansas State’s offensive strategy coming into Tuesday’s men’s basketball game was to avoid Kansas University shot-blocker Jeff Withey by trying to shoot open shots on the outside. By Jesse Newell
On a night he watched from the bench in foul trouble and too often from the perimeter when in the game, red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore again showed he’s the player on the roster with the most untapped potential. By Tom Keegan
Naadir Tharpe insists he wasn't nervous when he stepped to the free-throw line with 22 seconds left in Kansas' narrow victory at Kansas State. By Gary Bedore
Travis Releford scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting, and the Kansas men's basketball team made free throws late to hold a lead in a 59-55 victory over Kansas State on Tuesday night at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.
KU (17-1, 5-0 Big 12) is in first place by itself in the conference after the win.
KSU (15-3, 4-1) pulled to within three at 56-53 with 37 seconds left on a layup by Shane Southwell.
Naadir Tharpe hit both ends of a one-and-one with 22 seconds left, then Rodney McGruder missed a desperation three with 18 seconds left.
McLemore missed the front end of a one-and-one, and McGruder made two free throws after getting fouled with 5 seconds left to cut KU's lead to 59-56.
Elijah Johnson was fouled with 3 seconds left and made the first free throw of a one-and-one attempt to seal it.
Jeff Withey added 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Ben McLemore contributed 11 points and five rebounds.
KU will play a home game against Oklahoma at 3 p.m. Saturday.