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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

Comments

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 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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texashawk10 1 year, 2 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.

1

phogphan2000 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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johninkc1 1 year, 2 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.

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phogphan2000 1 year, 2 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.

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86Jayhawk 1 year, 2 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

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jayhawkinATL 1 year, 2 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.

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Morri1314 1 year, 2 months ago

Kevin Young is my favorite transfer player since Jeff Graves!

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BainDread 1 year, 2 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.

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jumpinjayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Pecking order of the big 12 has been reestablished

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darshben 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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jayhawkinATL 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Jerry Rockhold 1 year, 2 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."

RCJH, GO KU!!!

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Eldrad 1 year, 2 months ago

3 years ago, Sherron took the heat when the team slumped. Next up was Tyshawn. Now, it's EJ who takes the heat for not being the next Michael Jordan.

And sure as eggs is eggs, it's going to be Naadir who gets the blame for flat team play next year.

Critics, I'd have more respect if y'all would look at the overall squad when the team slumps instead of singling out the point guard for everything that goes south. Having watched losses more than in real time, I can assure you all that when our (or any) team loses, it is a team effort. Bad (or no) communication. Bad passes. Bad Pass receiving. Bad shots. No offensive rebounds. Bad defensive lapses. Awful perimeter defense. Sloppiness.

Point being, when we lose, it can only be boiled down by simpletons as the cause of bad PG play. Folks who have watched college B-Ball for more than 3 years know that bad team play occurs at many levels, on both sides of the ball.

So, before the typical knee-jerk EJ bashing, look at film and realize that 1) these guys are kids and amateurs, and 2) there are errors by players all over the court. Even Jordan wasn't perfect in college.

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RibMan 1 year, 2 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.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 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!!

2

d_bradley27 1 year, 2 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!)

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MrPilot 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 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.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 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.

Flu?

Or something else?

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Slick50 1 year, 2 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.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Withey not getting enough credit in this gm.

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notgivinguo 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 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.

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Slick50 1 year, 2 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.

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Jeff Soisson 1 year, 2 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!

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dylans 1 year, 2 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!

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741hawk 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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oliver983 1 year, 2 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!

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sbucks 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Doug Roberts 1 year, 2 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?

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PeterGriffin 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Micky Baker 1 year, 2 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

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