The typical Kansas stars did most of the damage, but junior wing Svi Mykhailiuk won the game late for the Jayhawks in a thrilling Sunflower Showdown Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
Mykhailiuk beat the buzzer with a game-winning layup against rival Kansas State, allowing KU to edge the Wildcats, 90-88.
Prior to that, a big bounce-back game by freshman Josh Jackson and a typical showing from senior leader Frank Mason III kept K-State from stunning the home crowd and the favored Jayhawks.
View a gallery of images from Tuesday night's game between the Jayhawks and Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse.
After scoring a season-low four points in his Big 12 debut the previous week, Jackson rebounded — and dunked and passed — his way to a far better performance, helping the No. 3-ranked Jayhawks survive.
Though both Jackson and Mason struggled with turnovers at times (nine combined), the freshman’s overall game — career-high 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists — and Mason’s 3-point shooting (4-for-5) helped KU hold off its capable rival.
Kansas (13-1 overall, 2-0 Big 12) shot 53 percent from the floor, and finished with five players in double figures.
Mason, who entered the day as the league’s co-leading scorer with Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans, put up 15. His running mate, junior Devonte’ Graham, scored 13, but it was senior Landen Lucas, who produced 18 to go with his 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double, and Mykhailiuk (11 points) who came through in crunch time.
K-State (12-2, 1-1) shot the ball well, too, in a hostile environment, making 51 percent, and was led by sophomore forward Dean Wade’s 20 points, which tied a career high.
The combative primetime affair marked the end of K-State’s seven-game winning streak, and brought KU’s win streak to 13 games, following a season-opening loss to Indiana, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Though K-State had a shot to take the lead in the final 20 seconds (a missed Wade 3-pointer from the top of the key), KU extended its winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse to 47 games.
— Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: Kansas, which led by 10 at intermission, put together just enough offense to survive, after rival K-State clawed back to tie things up — first at 75, then at 84 and 88, as well.
Mason set up Lucas for a layup with 1:27 left, and the senior big man put it in for an 86-84 lead. His free throws at the 1:02 mark proved crucial, too, before Mykhailiuk won the game with a buzzer-beating layup.
With 5.6 seconds left and the length of the floor to travel, Mykhailiuk threw an in-bounds pass to Graham, then got the ball back before traversing the length of the floor for the clutch basket.
Much earlier, a drive for a basket in the paint by Wade tied the game at 75 with more than eight minutes to play. But Jackson, who dominated much of the first half, quickly reasserted himself with a basket to make sure the Wildcats didn’t get an opportunity to re-gain the lead at that juncture.
• Offensive highlight: Less than three minutes into another showcase night for Jackson, the freshman from Detroit annihilated the rim with a one-handed slam that will replay on the fieldhouse video board for years to come.
Graham had the attention of the K-State defense near the right elbow, and when Jackson saw that, he made a hard cut for the paint. Graham put the ball right in Jackson’s hands with a bounce pass, and though Wildcats senior forward D.J. Johnson tried sliding over to help, it was too late.
Jackson skied above his defender, cocked the ball back with his right hand and added another pulverizing tomahawk to his constantly growing highlight reel.
• Defensive highlight: There certainly weren’t many for Kansas in this heated in-state showdown. But Jackson’s speed, footwork and anticipation showed up on the defensive end of the floor late in the second half.
Lurking outside of a passing lane like a pick-happy defensive back, Jackson jumped a Kamau Stokes pass and would’ve took off for an open dunk had Wade not bumped him immediately following the steal. Jackson made both ensuing free-throw attempts to build KU’s lead to six with 7:17 left.
• Key stat: Turnovers. KU made 15 of them and they led to 17 K-State points. Those numbers kept K-State competitive and gave the Wildcats a shot at knocking off the Jayhawks.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will be back in Allen Fieldhouse Saturday to take on Texas Tech (6:15 p.m., ESPN2).
— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.