KU rocks K-State, snaps 3-game losing streak

2/12/2013

KU rocks K-State, snaps 3-game losing streak

KU rocks K-State, snaps 3-game losing streak

By ARNE GREEN

Special to The Telegram

LAWRENCE — For one night, at least, the Kansas Jayhawks got their mojo back.

As they have so many times at Allen Fieldhouse, the Kansas State Wildcats got in the way and were flattened.

No. 14-ranked KU, a loser of three straight and in danger of falling out of the Big 12 race, punched league leader K-State early and never let the No. 10 Wildcats off the mat Monday night on the way to an 83-62 rout at Allen Fieldhouse.

Freshman Ben McLemore, celebrating his 20th birthday, scored 30 points and 7-footer Jeff Withey dominated inside with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Jayhawks, who improved to 20-4 overall tying K-State (19-5) for the league lead at 8-3. Kevin Young added 13 points and nine rebounds with Travis Releford scoring 10 points.

For K-State, Rodney McGruder had 17 second-half points to finish with 20, while Angel Rodriguez added 17 points and six assists and Will Spradling 10 points.

KU outrebounded K-State 41-23 and shrugged off its recent offensive woes by shooting 48 percent despite cooling off down the stretch. The Jayhawks outscored the Wildcats 34-16 in the paint and 19-11 off turnovers in a dominating performance.

The Jayhawks led by as many as 21 on the way to a 47-29 halftime lead and K-State was unable to mount a serious threat after intermission.

The Wildcats survived an early surge to start the second half and went on an 11-4 run, thanks to a pair of Rodriguez 3-pointers and two McGruder baskets. McGruder's free throw with 15:43 left cut it to 56-40.

But the Wildcats were unable to cash in on four straight KU turnovers and the Jayhawks got a three-point play from Withey on a vicious dunk, followed by a Releford rebound basket to go up 63-43 with 12:02 left.

KU completed a sweep of the regular-season series and now has won 46 of the last 49, 11 of 12 and seven straight at Allen Fieldhouse against the Wildcats.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for K-State, which brought a league lead to Lawrence for the first time since 1988. It also was the first time the Wildcats were higher ranked than KU when they met in the regular season since 1982.

Kansas took out a week's worth of frustration with a big offensive first half, shooting 58.6 percent from the field, knocking down five 3-pointers and 8 of 10 free throws to lead 47-29 at the break.

K-State shot just 37.5 percent but did make five of its nine 3-point attempts to keep contact with the Jayhawks.

KU took command with a seven-point run to go up 14-7 on Young's reverse layup with 12:27 left in the half. And after K-State answered with three straight, the Jayhawks reeled off nine in a row to go up 23-10 on a 3-pointer and jumper from McLemore.

McLemore had 17 points in the period on 5 of 6 shooting, going 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Young added nine points and Nadir Tharpe seven points with six points off the bench.

Shane Southwell, Will Spradling and Angel Rodriguez each had eight points in the half to lead K-State.

KU dominated inside with a 20-6 scoring advantage in the paint and had a 7-0 advantage on second-chance points. The Jayhawks outrebounded K-State 28-11 in the period.

An 8-0 spurt gave the Jayhawks their first 20-point lead, 36-16 on Withey's free throw with 5:09 left, and after a 7-3 Wildcat run, Young closed the half with a layup at the buzzer on a feed from Tharpe.

With his five blocked shots in the game, Withey broke the school career record with 263. He was tied with Greg Ostertag at 258.

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