Saturday, January 22, 2022

Kansas overcomes 17-point deficit, beats K-State on Ochai Agbaji’s late basket

Kansas guard Christian Braun (2) takes some contact from Kansas State forward Davion Bradford (21) as he drives to the bucket during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Christian Braun (2) takes some contact from Kansas State forward Davion Bradford (21) as he drives to the bucket during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 at Bramlage Coliseum.


MANHATTAN — Ochai Agbaji made the go-ahead basket with nine seconds remaining as the No. 7 Kansas basketball team recovered from a 17-point deficit and defeated Kansas State 78-75 on Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

Agbaji matched a career high with 29 points and had seven rebounds, and David McCormack had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Jayhawks (16-2, 5-1 Big 12), who have now won their last four games and stretched their winning streak in the Sunflower Showdown to six games.

Dajuan Harris Jr. rebounded Markquis Nowell's 3-point attempt with 24.7 seconds remaining and the Jayhawks got the ball in the hands of Agbaji, who gave KU its first lead since three minutes into the game.

Nijel Pack, who scored a career-high 35 points, tried a 3-pointer that would have tied the score with five seconds remaining. But his miss landed in the arms of Agbaji, who sank two more free throws with 0.6 seconds left.

Pack, a sophomore guard from Indianapolis, was practically unstoppable for the Wildcats — especially in the first half. He scored 22 points, one more than his season high, before halftime, and he made his first six shots, including a quartet of 3-pointers. His shooting lifted K-State, which went 19-for-32 (59.4 percent) in the opening half.

KU, meanwhile, made just one field goal over the final 7:55 of the first half — a 3-pointer by Jalen Wilson, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. K-State closed the half on a 6-0 run to enter halftime up 50-34, and withstood a 7-0 run by the Jayhawks early in the second half but started to wear down shortly thereafter.

The Wildcats went nearly five minutes without a field goal to allow KU to pull within four at 63-59 with 8:50 to play, and the deficit had been trimmed to as little as three points with 4:35 to play when Agbaji made a pair of free throws that made it 70-67.

Christian Braun had 11 points for the Jayhawks, who shot 44.1 percent but went 21-for-30 from the free throw line. Kansas State (10-8, 2-5 Big 12), which had won its previous two games, shot 45.8 percent, but it went 29.6 percent in the second half after making 59.4 percent of its shots in the first.

The Jayhawks will be back on the court Monday night, when they'll face No. 18 Texas Tech at Allen Fieldhouse. The Red Raiders won the teams' first meeting, in Lubbock, 75-67 on Jan. 8.


Benjamin Shear 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Obiter Dictum:

*That only a fun game because we won.

*The KSU fans are garbage. They were chanting "DUI! DUI! DUI!" the first time Wilson shot FTs. Classless.

*Can a ref please call a 'T' on Bruce Weber for standing in the middle of the floor the entire game? Weber is one of those coach's you either really like, or...not so much. I'm not much of a fan myself.

*Speaking of refs. What is the explanation for only giving Agbaji 2 shots when he was fouled 6 inches behind the 3 point line? Seriously? Why didn't they look at the video replay to verify? That honestly could have cost the game. Absolutely terrible call. I thought the rest of the game was called pretty nicely.

*Wilson was a beast on the boards. I haven't even looked at the box score yet, but he showed a TON of heart and effort.

*Speaking of effort Agbaji showed more passion and emotion that I've ever seen from him. One time he slapped the floor after a miss. We need that fight to win.

*I'm not one to gloat, but the look on the KSU fans faces when the game was over was priceless.

*KSU shot insane from 3 pt (well, mostly Pack). Were it not for that, the game would not really have been close. It's important to remember that KU gets everyone's best shot on the road. KU took some huge punches in the first half. Many will comment that KU is terrible, soft, or that we should fire HSBC (you know who you are), but the correct perspective is that KU won and IS a tough team that is winning on the road, even when things don't go smoothly. No, I'll keep HSBC for as long as he wants to be at KU.

Clarence Haynes 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The DUI and F**k KU chants were classless!

Barry Weiss 6 months, 3 weeks ago

wow, what a comeback! we simply crushed them on the boards! 43-23 or something like that. double doubles for DMac and JW. Just another great road win and to strip the heart and soul out of those obnoxious K-State fans makes it that much sweeter.

Barry Weiss 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree Benjamin on the foul on Ochai. I thought well, maybe they are calling a foul after the shot, but it was two FT's , so it had to be on the shot and he was clearly beyond the arc. I'd like to hear why they only gave him 2 shots. If it was just a mistake, well admit it.

Micky Baker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I would not have bet on the win at the half. KU showed some grit in the second half. Ochai was big down the stretch. I think many of us were thinking because of K-State's record at 2-4 that they were just really bad, but they aren't. Once they got their players back from the COVID list, they have put together a good lineup and rotation. Granted, one of their players had the game of his life. It won't be easy for anyone to win in Manhattan for sure, but they probably have some road wins in their future. That little point guard of theres caused major problems because of his quickness. Pack just went off, and he probably won't every night but because he did it will open up assist and driving opportunities for him. I believe K-State is much better than most people believe. The record does not tell the whole story. This is the best league in the country, and K-State is probably middle of the pack in other power five conferences right now to be honest. This is a big win for the hawks. They proved to themselves that they can come back, and if they get another one or two then they will believe they can win every game come March.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Game was never in doubt. Strong start and finish. Sure we had the lead for only a few minutes and Pack played out of his mind, but we won.

Remy does not deserve 20 minutes a game. He leaves his man wide open on D and barely scores. He is lucky our bench is so thin and terrible at times.

Another easy win against a bottom feeder.

Thank Heavens the foul shooting fairy was on our payroll. Took 12 more freethrows and made 10.

We got this!!!

David Robinett 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Jaylen is rounding into form.

And let’s give Big Dave some credit. We were trailing by five with a minute and a half left and he hit both free throws to pull us within one possession.

11 points and 15 huge rebounds.

Clarence Haynes 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Dave and Jalen crashed the boards during the 2nd half!

Bryce Landon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It was truly embarrassing that we fell behind by 17 to the last-place team in the conference, that we allowed a KSU team that scores 68 PPG to score 50 on us on 60%-70% shooting from the floor, and that we allowed Nijel Peck to score a career high 35 on us. But it was absolutely wonderful that we showed toughness in the second half, grinded and grinded and grinded, overcame the 17-point hole, and won the game in the end!

All season long I have complained that this team, while more talented and athletic than last year's team, was no tougher than last year's team. Today I saw a level of toughness in the Jayhawks that I have not seen since our run to the 2012 Final Four. Remember when we were down big to Purdue in the Round of 32, only for us to come back and win it in the final minute of the game? Today's win at KSU reminded me of the Purdue game from the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks are finally showing me the toughness they lacked early on this year. And if they can display that toughness consistently, they have a chance to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2018!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Wuck the Fildcats!

Brett McCabe 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Benjamin, one of my favorite small pleasures is to look at game-action photos and look through the crowd to get a sense of what’s going on. When MJ hit the famous shot against Utah, there is a lady in the crowd basically screaming to not let Jordan shoot. I’ve looked over the crowd reactions in the famous photo of Mario many, many times. One dude is literally looking at his phone while the ball is in the air.

For today’s smile, take a look at the crowd shot where Jalen is popping his jersey. Find the red headed kid with the double birds. Who buys a KSU basketball jersey? Is that the same kid who “chicken winged” Jamari?

I almost prefer todays game vs. a blowout simply for the pure pain it caused every kitty in the land. Diabolical!

Tim Orel 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Lots of masks either missing or being worn as chinstraps by fans and coaches. AFH is going to have a challenge to keep people wearing masks, but it's worth it to have a full fieldhouse. KU has nearly double the number of fans in attendance as KSU did today.

Benjamin Shear 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Brett, I also love looking at the crowd in photos like that. I'll check it out.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Pack’s last shot was for a 2 point lead. They were only down 1 at the time.

Huge turn around. 59 to 29%!

Weber is a good coach and we are fortunate that he’s at kstate. Hope they do enough against everyone else to keep him around for years to come.

Pretty sad that they can’t fill their little arena for their biggest game of the season.

Benjamin Shear 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah, what's kinda sad for KSU is that this is actually one of their better teams, but everyone else in the Big 12 is so much better as well that it's not showing up in their record.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Zac - Are you the new kid in the office? Welcome.

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