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Kansas defeats Kansas State, 83-62

  • 8 p.m., Feb. 11, 2013
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

FINAL: McLemore scores 30, Tharpe impresses in 83-62 rout over KSU

By Matt Tait.

Fire, toughness and Naadir Tharpe.

Those were the main ingredients for the Kansas University men's basketball team, which drubbed 10th-ranked Kansas State, 83-62, Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

The victory, which was all but sealed during the first quarter of game action, snapped an unusual three-game losing streak for the Jayhawks, who improved to 20-4 overall and climbed back into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with an 8-3 conference mark. The loss dropped K-State to 19-5 and 8-3, but KU owns the tiebreaker by way of its season sweep of the team from Manhattan.

Monday's game looked a lot like so many Allen Fieldhouse match-ups between these two Sunflower State rivals. The Jayhawks were more aggressive, played with more energy and benefited from a ton of love pouring out of the stands in the old arena.

Ben McLemore led all scorers with 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Jeff Withey moved into first place on KU's all-time blocks list all by himself with five blocks on the night, giving him 263 for his career, five ahead of Greg Ostertag's old record of 258.

While both of those performances certainly were welcomed by the home team, they also have come to be somewhat expected. What has not was the night from Tharpe.

The sophomore, who played 15 minutes in the first half and 27 overall, poured in seven points before halftime on 3-of-5 shooting and added six assists, with no turnovers, to help the Jayhawks race out to a 47-29 halftime lead.

For the game, Tharpe finished with seven points and eight assists, one turnover also did a more than admirable job of guarding KSU stud Rodney McGruder throughout much of the first half.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action.

The game turned when: Red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore was fouled and dropped to the floor by K-State center Jordan Henriquez. Henriquez was called for a flagrant foul, McLemore got up — eventually — and buried two free throws to put Kansas up 12-7 with 13:28 to play in the first half and 11 minutes later the Jayhawks led 42-22 and the game was over. It wasn't so much

Offensive highlight: There's no question that Jeff Withey's monster slam in the face of Jordan Henriquez and sent the KU big man to the free throw line was one of the best offensive moments for KU in this one. It came on a nifty pass from Jamari Traylor and sent Henriquez to the bench bleeding. Honorable mention here goes to sophomore PG Naadir Tharpe, who somehow scored a reverse layup at 4:07 in the first half to put KU up 38-19. Tharpe's bucket gave him 7 points for the half on 3-of-5 shooting. He also added six assists in 15 first-half minutes.

Defensive highlight: Withey's first block of the night (on a jumper by Thomas Gipson at the 16:28 mark of the first half) moved the 7-foot senior into first place on KU's all-time blocks list by himself. It was hardly the only one Withey would get on this night — he finished with five and looked a lot more like his old, dominant Withey self throughout.

Key stat: How about the lines for KU's two best players. With the team reeling and needing someone(s) to step up as a leader, senior Jeff Withey delivered with a monster night — 17 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks — and red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore scored a game-high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-10 from three-point range.

Up next: The Jayhawks will enjoy the rest of the week off and return to action at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, when they play host to Texas at Allen Fieldhouse.

Box score


Micky Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

Mark this one on the calendar, and if KU wins it, KU will win the Big 12 title again. Kansas at Oklahoma State February 20th, 2013

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

Even if we win that one, I bet we lose at Ames

planojayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Most likely a L for the Hawks for that game, but no future game outcome has been set in stone. Have some faith for your team dude.

Micky Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

Except, Kansas State has to play at Oklahoma State, too, and Kansas gets that tiebreaker. Iowa State has to play down in Waco as well. If we beat OSU and lose to ISU, it will be a tie and Kansas wins the Tiebreaker. But I bet ISU ends up with 5 losses after a loss at Waco and K-State ends with 5 after losing to Baylor and OSU away from Manhattan.

PeterGriffin 5 years, 3 months ago

I feel so much better about KU's chances now.

Doug Roberts 5 years, 3 months ago

I hate it when the PA guy says "Ben McLemore for THREEEEEEE!". That's a crappy NBA and bush league college thing. KU is better than that! Anybody agree? Please, for the love of God?

sbucks 5 years, 3 months ago

Passion, energy, and emotion, Coach Self said it, you have to let it out, any questions?

Kim Mandle 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice to see the Hawks get back some of the swagger. Granted, it was only K-Straight, but it was a must-win and we played tough. Refreshing!

741hawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't yet believe that HCBS will allow himself to realize the difference in dynamics that Tharpe brings to the floor.

sbucks 5 years, 3 months ago

EJ is a great player as long as he doesn't try to act like a Globetrotter when he's handling the ball. Tharpe should be our point, he's much better.

planojayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Did you really watch the game tonight?

The first 5 min when EJ was in, you could just see a sight of the offensive funk again, at 2 straight missed 3s by EJ and a TO.

When Tharpe came back in, the offense started to flow much better again.

I am not trying to put all the blames on EJ. He just is not a PG. When he is finally fight back from his shooting slump, he will be a great 2 guard again like last year during the tournament run.

We need EJ for another long run in the tournament, but not as a PG.

Let's hope Tharpe realizes tonight how good he can be as the PG, and keep driving under control to find someone open, instead of trying to shoot too much.

dylans 5 years, 3 months ago

N. Korea is testing nukes, but I'm reading about the ball game I just watched instead. About freakin' time KU played well!

sbucks 5 years, 3 months ago

K-State just got nuked, and I get to have dinner with my cousin Fri. nite who went there, I can't wait !

Jeff Soisson 5 years, 3 months ago

I can only say one thing: 'The boys are back in town', Thin Lizzy! Well done and if you are younger, listen to this song!

Gary Wilson 5 years, 3 months ago

It's amazing what sitting your worst player for extended minutes will do for a team. Tharpe should have been starting two months ago.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

He's sat due to losing the ball on the dribble like he did w/ about 4 mins.left.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

Johnson STILL off even when every one else was going off. He'd've gotten less mins. if not for Releford's foul trouble. Would've liked to have seen White III get some of those 2nd half mins.

planojayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I kept thinking to myself what has White done that Wild Bill would not give him any min except the last 1 min, especially when TRel was in foul trouble.

Really puzzling.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

Last few times he'd been out there he hadn't been guilty of either. In fact, I noticed no fall-off on D the last few times he'd been out there.

notgivinguo 5 years, 3 months ago

That's my TEAM!!! So happy!! Great to see them smiling again!!

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

Withey not getting enough credit in this gm.

planojayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Agree 100%. He was a beast from the get go.

Way to go Jeff! Here is hoping that you continue to show them, especially on that nasty dunk!

Gary Wilson 5 years, 3 months ago

Those who excuse EJ's play for not being a PG have no excuses for his horrid play when he's in with Tharpe playing the two. Another 1-fer says it's not the position, it's the player.

jaybate 5 years, 3 months ago

Ben was really an amazing gun.

Jeff just kept warping the defensive space and came on in the second half offensively in a big way, while getting 10 reebs.

Kevin played one of his best games of the season.

Travis guarded and was more active on offense, though not highly efficient.

EJ could not get untracked.

Dir looked very, very good, despite not being iinefficient offensively.

Rio got a few minutes and didn't look good.

Perry got his usual chances and made nothing of them as usual.

For the second game in a row, AW3 conspicuously was not given a minute. Instead, Evan Manning got a minute.

The team played like the team we believed them to be before the Mother of All Funks.

Self told Holly after the games that their minds just haven't been right and so they couldn't play well, as a result.

What Self did not say was why their minds weren't right.

Increasingly conspicuous is the disappearance of Andrew White III.

During the Mother of All Funks, AW3 was one of a very few bright spots. He came in at the end of a game and looked like he knew what he was doing. But now for two games nada.

What up?

KSU going small with Southwell at the 4 made it seem likely AW3 would get a call. When KU did okay staying big at the 4, he didn't get a call early. Then when the game broke open, he did not get a call either half.


Or something else?

jaybate 5 years, 3 months ago

I hope Danny was just in town to see Evan and not on business.

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I hope he was here begging for his job back !

(I'm only kind of kidding)

tdscpa 5 years, 3 months ago

" their minds just haven't been right and so they couldn't play well, as a result."

They just need to eat more raw eggs and shake it a little.

jayhawkinATL 5 years, 3 months ago

I think AWIII"s air balls at the end of the TCU game did him in.

Alan Mills 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes on almost everything. Ellis is not "as advertised", clearly. Traylor can't make a lay-up, but at least he gets his shot off. Brings so much more. Better team when Ellis and Johnson were on the bench tonight. I continue to believe Johnson is playing on two bum knees and really needs to take one for the team and ASK to sit, so the team can win. Cannot agree with you at all, however, on White. Didn't get to see any of the OSU game, but have seen him play in other games. He did get the same minute as Manning tonight. Here's a kid who is supposed to be a pure shooter, yet leads the universe in airballs per minute - do they even keep that stat? Any pure shooter can ate least hit the rim. Yet, when he comes in you can pretty much mark down at least one airball, perhaps two or three. That is NOT the mark of a pure shooter by any standard. White has found the right place for now...bench. Adams was the real disappointment. He's supposed to be a true point guard, yet turned it over each time he was in. Perhaps he's been studying in the Johnson School of Point Guarding for too long?

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

Um, did you watch the gm.? One of those SHOULD have been on Naadir. Pass was there & Naadir was sloppy in receiving it...ended up scored against Rio but shouldn't've bee.

Morri1314 5 years, 3 months ago

Rio didn't look as bad as Tharpe did last year though.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm happy, but not going to go overboard ecstatic. Maybe I will if they win in Still water a wk. from Wed.

MrPilot 5 years, 3 months ago

What a GREAT win. We needed that one! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!

Darin Bradley 5 years, 3 months ago

Confidence is everything. Our guys really needed to see the ball go in the basket and get some swag back. Losing makes you value the ball more too. Great to see the end of each half end on positive plays opposed to turnovers. Just need to keep sawing wood. We have a as good a chance as any to win out and take league (again!)

Tony Bandle 5 years, 3 months ago

Formula for victory is simple: start Tharpe, Withey stay at home in the paint, everybody work their ass off on defense and BenMac shoot the ball every time he touches it. SIMPLE!!

planojayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I would also add to that TRel won't pull the offensive disappearing act.

RibMan 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey, Bill: Start Nadir. EJ will thank you for it. EJ doesn't want to play point according to his body language.

Who cares if EJ is a senior? What the hell does that have to do with anything?

Nadir handles the ball much better and has fewer turnovers. This is a no-brainer.

kujayhawks2585 5 years, 3 months ago

Great point. I completely agree with you.

Alan Mills 5 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to agree, but really feel Johnson is playing on bad knees. No fault of his, just got a bum deal his senior year. Yet, for the last month, he just hasn't been able to get the job done. Tonight, again, while everyone else stepped up their game, he was horrible. Turnovers, out of control, poor shooting. Hey, he did make a layup and a free throw, so that's certainly an improvement. But, I agree, it is unfair to blame him entirely. The team is simply better without him on the floor right now.

P.S. Loved every second of Taylor's 4 years. Never bagged on him, while others did. He could really play! And, he made plays. Could Johnson do that with two good knees? We will never know. What we do know is Johnson cannot make plays on two bum knees.

Jerry Rockhold 5 years, 3 months ago

83 pts. is NOT a coincedence. Keep Tharpe at PG the REST of the SEASON. Penetrate, dish, get everyone involved, and get out in transition for easy baskets. Look what would have happened IF we would have scored around 60 pts again, it would have been anybody's game..

This year's team has such a small margin for error we can NOT afford to play mainly in the halfcourt & take our chances. While Tharpe may NOT be all we want as a KU pt. guard, he is the BEST we have THIS yr. & we're SO MUCH BETTER with him there.

The REAL SEASON may have just started tonight & maybe, just maybe, we got some confidence & swagger back. Let's keep playing "KANSAS BASKETBALL."


jayhawkinATL 5 years, 3 months ago

Man, so disappointed in Ellis. The man is soft!!!

hawk_of_ages 5 years, 3 months ago

Of all the criticisms one could make about Ellis thus far in his KU career, "soft" is absolutely not one of them. He takes it to the hole harder and more relentlessly than just about any freshman I can remember. Problem is he hasn't been able to finish once he gets there.

jayhawkinATL 5 years, 3 months ago

I believe HCBS has referred to him as such before.

hawk_of_ages 5 years, 3 months ago

He calls guys "soft" all the time to send a message, but that doesn't mean he believes it. I don't think he believes this is the worst KU team since Naismith, either. But he did say it.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 3 months ago

I'd call it soft when he gets a rebound and some small G comes in and pokes it away seemingly all the time.

hawk_of_ages 5 years, 3 months ago

If by "seemingly all the time," you mean occasionally. It occasionally happened to T-Rob too.

Darshana Benhur 5 years, 3 months ago

Recipe to Success: Jeff Blocks, Ben Dunks (and does everything), Travis Defends, Kevin Rebounds, Naadir runs Point and Elijah Steals

jumpinjayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Pecking order of the big 12 has been reestablished

BainDread 5 years, 3 months ago

Withey's dunk is #3 on ESPN's Top Ten plays of the day. Beat out by a Blake Griffin dunk at #2, and the most amazing length-of-the-court shot you will ever see at #1.

Morri1314 5 years, 3 months ago

Kevin Young is my favorite transfer player since Jeff Graves!

RockChalkDoc 5 years, 3 months ago

Kevin Young is my favorite transfer player since Jeff Withey! :-)

jayhawkinATL 5 years, 3 months ago

Great win, but still skeptical of us handling our business with the toughest remaining schedule. Honestly have to say that I think the Pokes have the inside track to the crown, especially since they have us and KSU at home still.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 3 months ago

No doubt OSU has the inside track with the easier schedule, and if nobody can go into Stillwater and get a win, guess what, more power to them, that's how you win a conference title, protect homecourt. At least KU has the head to head with KSU wrapped up and a chance to break even with OSU while KSU could steal the head to head with OSU. So KU could go 3-1 against KSU/OSU with a win in Stillwater which would leave OSU at best 2-2 against KU/KSU and KSU at best 2-2 against OSU/KSU. That's the inside track KU has on the #1 seed in the Big12 tourney anyway. Basically KU needs revenge in Stillwater. KU can probably afford to lose 2 more and still get a tie at 13-5 and still be the #1 Big12 seed as long as they get a win in Stillwater. That game is huge.

JayHok 5 years, 3 months ago

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Curtis Stutz 5 years, 3 months ago

Actually I'm not sure OSU has the easier schedule necessarily, they have 4 road and 3 home games and 2 games against the co-#1s whereas KU and KSU both have 4 home games and 3 road games and only 1 game left against a co-#1, so there's that. Plus OSU still has a rivalry game left.

86Jayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

What a great game to amend the last three!

Highlights: Naa playing with incredible determination and finally flourishing with his winning ways. El Jefe- dominated tonight with 5 blocks and MADE FT's. Huge FT's! Made KSU pay for challenging him in the paint.

BMac- Great game! Needs to work on passes, but when we can truly find and establish him as our premiere player-LIGHTS OUT! (30 pts.)

Elijah-best play of the game was driving to the hoop in first half, and not taking an open "3" with 3:00+ left on the clock in the second half.

KY-Stud performance.Finally made most of his "bunnies" and rebounded like Rodman.

Travis- great on defense. Enough energy and determination at all the right points. He allowed us to maintain a 15+ point lead.

Naaaa-MVP, he an Elijah have switched positions. Tonight Naadir was by far our MVP with his shooting, passing and defense. Allowed a couple cheap fouls against McGruder, however, Mcgruder has him in height and athleticism.

Great Win! Back to #1 RCJGKU

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 3 months ago

So I took blame for the OU loss having bet on KU, spread had dropped to KU -7.5 by the time I took KSU but I went for it anyway. Reverse jinx in effect, I will be betting on Okie St, ISU and possibly BU in those games, 'cause it can't hurt. ISU will be rough 'cause of the quick turnaround but at least it's not back to back road games with a quick turnaround. BU will be tough 'cause it's their senior day.

Mostly KU came out, played aggressive D, ran the floor, worked the ball around, had FUN again on the court. It was great to see. No telling if KU will keep the conference title streak alive, not the end of the world if they don't but it'd be really nice. I wouldn't hate seeing a #4 seed KU take down a #1 seed in the Sw16 either, so all the players and fans should worry about is the next game. Texas with Kabongo back, not sure he'll be an impact, but Texas has played well some of the time. Could be another really fun game for these guys though. I bet their chompin' at the bit right now to get back out on that court against Texas.

johninkc1 5 years, 3 months ago

Finally looked like a TEAM that wants to win! Does anyone know who gave the pregame speech? Heard something but was too late to see who it was.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 3 months ago

Order has been restored; things are back to normal. Nothing else to see here...move along.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 3 months ago

Look at those rebounding numbers! Everybody got it done on the glass tonight.

texashawk10 5 years, 3 months ago

It's funny how a little over an hour and a half after the TCU game, there were about 100 more comments than there are now.

Micky Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

The next two are big, but particularly next Wednesday. If KU goes down to Stillwater and gets revenge, because that wasn't KU on that Saturday or last Saturday, Kansas will likely win the league, but if we lose at OSU. I do see ISU faltering, they are an outside shooting team and that when you live or die by the 3, one cold night and they could lose big to anyone.

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