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Kansas defeats Kansas State, 102-83

  • 8 p.m., Feb. 22, 2022
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Rivalry Runaway: 5th-ranked Kansas clobbers K-State, 102-83

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) gets airborne for a bucket against Kansas State during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) gets airborne for a bucket against Kansas State during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said Monday that the Wildcats needed Tuesday’s Sunflower Showdown to be played in the 60s in order for K-State to have a chance to win.

By halftime, fifth-ranked Kansas needed just seven points to get there.

The Jayhawks scored many more than that in the second half, while punishing their in-state rivals 102-83 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU’s 53 first-half points marked a new season-high and they came from 63% shooting by the Jayhawks (23-4 overall, 12-2 Big 12) in the opening 20 minutes.

The 102 points — on 64.1% shooting for the game — also tied a season high for Kansas, matching the 102 points the Jayhawks scored in a home win over Missouri in December.

“We played pretty well offensively," Kansas coach Bill Self said after the win. "We were cooking there for a while.”

Kansas, which topped KSU for the 16th consecutive time at home, picked up right where they left off in the second half, knocking in three of their first four second-half attempts to keep the lead at double-digits.

KU crossed the 60-point threshold on a jumper by Christian Braun at the 18:00 mark that put Kansas up 61-49. Two possessions later, a steal and easy finger roll by Braun put Kansas up 14 and forced another timeout by the Wildcats.

Braun scored nine of KU’s first 14 second-half points, with several of them coming as the result of increased intensity, especially on defense.

The KU junior finished Tuesday’s game with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals, bringing his scoring average against the Wildcats to 13.3 in six career games.

Braun’s partner in crime, KU senior Ochai Agbaji, did even more damage.

One day after being called the front-runner for Big 12 Player of the Year by Kansas coach Bill Self, Agbaji went out and likely locked up Weber’s vote.

He scored 15 in the first half, 23 for the game, and stacked Tuesday’s strong effort on top of his 29-point game in Manhattan earlier this season.

In six career games against K-State prior to this season, Agbaji scored a total of 41 points. In the two games against the Wildcats this season, he exploded for 52 points on 19-of-31 shooting.

One basket, midway through the first half, moved Agbaji past Wilt Chamberlain on KU’s all-time scoring list. It helped that Agbaji was playing in his 109th career game and Chamberlain appeared in just 48, but those facts won’t mean much — or be mentioned — when Agbaji someday tells his grandkids about his accomplishment.

“How efficient was he," Self asked of Agbaji. "Thirteen shots, makes nine. He was so efficient again tonight. It’s fun to watch him play and move right now. He’s definitely in attack mode.”

Added Agbaji of the milestone of passing Chamberlain: "That’s an honor. I didn’t know that.”

No matter how fast and how far Kansas ran in this one, the Wildcats kept coming. K-State trailed by just 11 (72-61) midway through the second half, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.

The Jayhawks, decked out in their sunflower-splashed alternate uniforms, made sure of that with a 24-8 run that led to a 96-69 lead with 5:40 to play.

KU first pushed its lead to 20 on a 3-pointer by Jalen Coleman-Lands (nine points on 3-of-5 shooting) with 9:20 to play.

“It’s hard to nitpick too much," Self said. "I’m pleased. We were pretty good tonight.”

In the early going, it was the Wildcats (14-13, 6-9) who asserted themselves offensively.

Four of the Wildcats’ first seven points came at the rim, as Davion Bradford scored in tight on the game’s opening possession and Markquis Nowell drove to the rim from the 3-point line for an uncontested layup.

Both buckets gave K-State the lead. So did Nijel Pack’s first shot of the night, a high-arching 3-pointer from the wing over the arm of Agbaji that ripped the net.

Agbaji responded on the very next possession to tie the game at 7 with a 3-pointer of his own. The Jayhawks hit four of their first six shots in this one, and five of their first eight.

None of it rattled the Wildcats, who took a 13-12 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Mike McGuirl, a veteran guard who did not start in the first meeting but was in the starting lineup on Tuesday night.

“K-State played pretty well offensively, too," Self said. "We couldn’t stop them and they couldn’t stop us there for a stretch.”

That was about where things stopped being easy for the Wildcats. Nijel Pack, who torched Kansas for 35 points in the first meeting, was held to just 13 in this one, on 5-of-13 shooting in 29 minutes.

Asked to share KU's approach to guarding him, Agbaji said simply: “To make it tough. He moves well without the ball. No open looks, no helping off of him.”

KU responded to that stretch with a 6-0 run, highlighted by a vicious, two-handed follow dunk by David McCormack to take an 18-13 lead.

From there, K-State struggled to keep up — or catch up — with KU’s breakneck pace.

“We’re well conditioned," Braun said. "We can do that all game.”

Even when the visitors scored, the Jayhawks answered immediately and emphatically with quick strikes of their own, which both helped KU maintain the lead and kept the home crowd in it.

Agbaji answered three times. Jalen Wilson (17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 29 minutes) had one. And KU’s transition — even after K-State makes — was every bit the weapon in this one that it was in the first meeting in Manhattan.

A 9-0 Kansas State run late in the first half trimmed a 16-point Kansas advantage to just seven, prompting Self to call timeout. Whatever the KU coach said in the huddle seemed to work. The Jayhawks responded with three straight buckets of their own to reclaim a 14-point lead before taking a 53-43 edge into halftime.

Tuesday’s victory kept Kansas two games up on Baylor and Texas Tech in the loss column in the Big 12 race, with Saturday’s showdown at Baylor looming. Baylor and Texas Tech both have three games remaining. Kansas has four.

The Jayhawks and Bears will face off at 7 p.m. Saturday night in Waco, Texas.

“I think every test is (an) opportunity," Coleman-Lands said. "I think we get better as we progress throughout the year, and we'll continue to get better.”

Comments

Bryce Landon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The ESPN graphic announcing that KU had only scored 100 on KSU one other time took me back twenty years. I was 15 years old and in AFH with my dad on the night in 2002 when KU pounded KSU 103-68. That was a fun, entertaining game to attend. Tonight's game took me back to the Roy Williams era when KU was routinely keeping the scoreboard blinking. It was entertaining to watch the two teams running up and down the floor and just bombing away, and it was fun to see the Jayhawks get an easy win. Nothing like scoring 83 and still getting blown out, eh, Pussycats?

However, I thought KU's uniforms tonight were ugly - and not ugly like those hideous 1922 throwbacks from last Tuesday night, but ugly like a 70s plaid suit or a couch with a loud floral design that my great grandma had in her house. I get that they were trying to honor LaVannes Squires for breaking the color barrier with KU basketball 70 years ago, which is a noble thing to do, but surely we could have honored him by wearing 1952 throwbacks to honor not only LaVannes but the rest of the 1952 national championship team?

Also, as someone who is quick to bash Bill Self on many occasions, I should give him credit for this: Unlike Juwan Howard at Michigan, Self is not a stickler for "unwritten rules", he has always shown class and graciousness in both victory and defeat, and he doesn't escalate conflicts with opposing coaches or players. Contrasting the behavior of Juwan Howard with the behavior of Bill Self makes me pause and think to myself, "We are way more fortunate to have Self as our coach than I am willing to admit."

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Jim Keen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, I thought the KU uniforms looked great! I am not usually a fan non-standard uniforms, but thought the color was very appropiate for the "Sunflower Shootout" against the Jayhawks in-state rival. Nice to see some red worn occassionaly by the Crimson and Blue.

It was also great to see them match the 102 points scored against KU's real rival, Missouri, earlier this season.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

God ugly uniforms. Plain and simple they were garbage. Talk about a reach. It looked like someone went nuts with a glue gun.

Sunflowers? Really. Who designed those? Isn't anyone looking at these designs before they make them? Who in their right mind approves this junk.

Easily the worst uniform I have seen anyone ever "have" to wear. Even when the White Sox wore shorts for a MLB game.

What's next bedazzle?

RJ King 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I LOVED the uniforms! Not for "everyday wear," but for a PARTY - like last night! They looked like a Kansas version of a Hawaiian shirt. Or perhaps Globetrotter-esque.

It is a good thing they won big though. Had they lost, the shirts would be destroyed, rather than just go to the bottom of the pajama drawer.

Steve Zimmerman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I think our guys were pumped after watching This Kansas bad beat was 'catastrophic' ...

ESPN should eat humble pie tonight.

That was a high octane game. Everybody played great. One of those games that things just went our ways. A very entertaining game, indeed. Joe gave a huge spark off the bench. Let's hope kids play like this against any opponent, not because it's KSU...

Steve Zimmerman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

1st meeting: 5-21, 2nd meeting: 15-24 - 3pt shooting proves to be a very very determining factor for KU to win.. aside from a good D...of course.

Brianna Zaleski 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Bryce, That was a well said statement, summing up the intangibles that HCBS brings to our program. These, mixed in with some phenomenal coaching prowess, make him a total package, that is hard to beat. Top 3 in the game, if not the best. I realize he leaves some to be desired, on the championship front, but all things considered, we have one of the best to ever do it… And your willingness to be humble, and admit your fault (from time to time), says a lot about you. No honest critic of yours, should intelligently question your “fandom” again. Well done.

Shannon Gustafson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Just wait, within a few games he'll be back to saying he's a bum and calling for Self to be fired. It's a pattern that repeats every year with him.

Shannon Gustafson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

and two games later it comes true...Bryce just called for "new leadership" because Self's not getting it done.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Good win. Jalen looked lost on D in the first half.

Benny Armstrong 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Definitely looked like he wasn't sure of his assignments a few times in the first half, however Self said in the post game that Weber had switched up some of their ball screen actions and it was leading to confusion with switching. So Jalen was likely following the scouting report and his role on the defense and unfortunately wound up looking like the cause of a defensive breakdown, even if it wasn't his fault. In the second half those lapses were cleaned up and it looked like the team made the necessary adjustments to prevent that from happening.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Benny, it did not appear to effect anyone else on the team.

Robin Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The unis looked outstanding, as did the '22 title throwbacks, both of which should get more run; in general, yellow accent is a good idea, to match the logo, though it doesn't need to be extensive. This was handled very tastefully. I would love to see an away colorway of the sunflower uni as well. Kansas is the flagship school for Adidas basketball design so get used to seeing new things. The stodgy takes above are as good as gold for indicating quality work by the professional designers at the helm :-)

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

....or, you have no clue. The unis stunk. Other than Hawai'i who else has had that has a Pablo Picasso wanna be design like that? Has anyone, anywhere in college or pro, ever had a uniform covered in flowers? Give me a Break.

Now if you have the Jayhawk holding a flower, now that would, well, be hillarious.

We could chant Rock Chalk Jayhawk Anthophile

Those uniforms last night were a joke! Sunflowers sprinkled all over. Only at Kansas can we take a storied program and "dress our team in outfits" like that.

Jim Keen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh... so I guess you really don't like sunflowers, Rodney. Are you possibly from Missouri?

Bryce Landon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Rodney and I both like sunflowers. We just don't like them all over the uniforms like what we saw last night, that's all.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi Jim, I used to send some to my mother on her birthday. I love the seeds.

I do not like sunflowers on our uniforms. That looked contrived and was unnecessary. We looked stupid.

A little song using sunflowers instead. For you Jim.

Tiptoe through the window By the window, that is where I'll be Come tiptoe through the sunflowers with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden By the garden of the willow tree And tiptoe through the sunflowers with me

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Missouri cause I don't like the Hobby Lobby decorations on our uni's? No not from Missouri. A product of Kansas through and through. For quite a few generations.

Robin Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It's OK buddy, the people who get paid for design opinions make the decisions

Kyle Neuer 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The whole concept of uniforms is to look, uniform. I couldn't care less about keeping Adidas design team occupied. I don't need the team modeling wearable "art". Those things last night were an embarrassment. Pick home and away unis. If you feel the need for "throwbacks" once, maybe twice a year, fine, as the occasion warrants. But, enough of being models for one-off designs.

RJ King 2 months, 3 weeks ago

To me, the uniforms looked like they came to PLAY, in every sense of the word. They looked like they were having FUN. It was like a DAY at the BEACH. It's not the Michigan band ... it's a GAME.

Blake Brown 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It's always great when we make shots; everything comes easier. The most important aspect of any game, other than winning, as I see it, has to do with defense. I thought our D was terrible especially stopping drives to the basket. Matadors. Also, we allowed their best 3 point shooters to get wide open shots they practice in rhythm and they missed many that they made in the first half last game. OK, it was a great win and Im happy we scored a ton and got 100+ and have a 2 game lead on the conference with 4 to go. Also, Baylor plays at Texas Tech next Monday and should we beat Baylor Saturday, we're really sitting pretty. Winning at Baylor and killing Texas would be the icing on the Big Xll cake. To the later point, I've got my upside down horns logo ready to fly. And what is with ESPN+ for showing the Hawk Talk show done Monday night in the afternoon on Tuesday? On that note, I have to think some of you replay games and isolate key plays, calls, defensive and offensive sets, out of bounds plays and more. I shared some of my consternation about the limitations in critique viewing of our games carried on the Plus with the KU announcers when we visited last week and many of the points were noted and to be mentioned to coach. The Big Xll ADs sold their souls for the $$$$ at the expense of quality viewing and reporting.

Blake Brown 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Correction: Baylor plays at Texas next Monday. ESPN shows TT in their programming on DirecTV.

Mallory Briggans 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Great win but i will state the obvious had Ochai gotten hurt diving for that loose ball late in the game,,,,,,,,,,,,heaven forbid ....the question would have been " WHY WAS OCHAI AND THE STARTERS STILL IN THE GAME UP 20+ WITH A COUPLE MINUTES TO PLAY !!!!! Blake you are 100 % on point giving up 83 points is nothing to brag about our 3 point defense was not that great and their guards beat us numerous times off the dribble to uncontested layups. This game was a rose but with most roses come thorns .....those thorns being our defense.......But again the risk is not worth the reward of blowing out a team by leaving your starters that late in the game ......So what are you saying to Zach KJ and Bobby once viable options during the season and youre up 20+ and they still dont play ......that to me is when you play them.

Benny Armstrong 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Definitely would have preferred to get the starters out of there sooner for the reasons you mentioned, but I'd be curious to get Self's off the record take on his decision on when to sub. I've read elsewhere that similar to the old BCS, the NET rankings look at margin of victory as a factor so it benefits teams to keep their starters in and maintain a lead versus subbing bench players that might give up points and turn a 19 point win into a 10-12 point win. Also, that off the record conversation would include if he just really wanted to stick it to Bruce. He says all the right things in the media sessions, but I would imagine he's still bothered by the mock funeral Weber threw at Illinois in his honor.

Shannon Gustafson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

He called timeout within 2 seconds of Braun making the three that got us over 100 and he used that timeout to bring in the 3rd string guys. He was most certainly waiting to break 100 before subbing them in. Our guys just took longer to get that last basket than expected.

Benny Armstrong 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah that wasn't exactly subtle to wait until we hit a benchmark number to sub everyone out.

Steve Zimmerman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Can you imagine if we were playing Michigan instead?

Shannon Gustafson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The irony with Michigan is Howard called timeout with under 20 seconds remaining in a previous game while up 16 points. Basically did the exact same thing he got mad at Coach Gard for...and Howard was pressing which means there is no "mercy" anyway. If the losing coach doesn't stop trying, no reason to expect the other coach show any mercy (but Gard did sub in his scrubs, so Howard can pound sand).

Tony Bandle 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Regarding the use of the vets up till almost the end....a100 point victory just resonates louder than a 99 point victory with the selection committee. Absolutely not right but absolutely human nature.

2] Regarding the uniforms......maybe a couple of sunflowers, yes....the rest of the crap, nope, dump it all.

3] Regarding the score......no matter what, allowing 83 points to your bitter rival in your own building is unacceptable.

4] Regarding the rest of the schedule.... 3 and 1 is a definite possibility and that means a conference crown.......as long as the Hawks remain focused.

5] Regarding Remi Martin.....don't be surprised if you don't see him till the NCAA's...if at all.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Classic Tony B!!!

I agree on all points. I was thinking the same thing, 83 is high. The scrubs did not score the last 5 minutes. Missed all their free throws too.

Mallory Briggans 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Benny Ive heard that as well . So to beat a team by 40 and embarrass them is good for the sport .....................and we talk about sportsmanship. Again had Ochai gotten hurt in a game that was over at halftime although it was only 10 points that was a game that we pretty much controlled. Guess thats what keeps Gonzaga on top because they blow out everybody in that conference the new analytics and metric systems used to raank a team .

So another thing as far as margin of victory Starters tend to get lax on defense and give up cheap baskets and because players arent focused because they are up 25 they get injured and many times the team getting blown out will take their starters so at that point no starters should be on the floor ................and a rec league game can commence

Benny Armstrong 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with everything you said about margin of victory being unsporting and also a flawed metric. While it thankfully didn't happen, we've had some chippy games against KState and it could have easily resulted in a hard foul or a cheap shot had we continued to keep our foot on the gas and score once the game was truly out of hand. There's no magic number in terms of a lead that is unbeatable, but at a certain point I'd rather watch Teahan and Jankovic shooting 3s and letting them get some run.

Brett McCabe 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Speaking of ugly uniforms, I've never understood why ksux has leaned in to that ugly font and some of those ugly grey/black/purple combos. It's like....let's take an ugly program and make it uglier.

For ours, I don't like 'em. But I like the result. Score a 100 when you wear those every game, and I'll buy the jersey at the bookstore!

Mallory Briggans 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Speaking of uniforms ...................i never saw the 2008 national championship game because i was at work that night ...............so i watched the whole game this past Monday on youtube The uniforms were a little baggy ...........too baggy but that was the style but i did like the design of them other than the baggyness .

Scott Proch 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Loved the uniforms! And if they're going to shoot like that in them, let's get a 1 seed and wear them every game in the tourney!

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