'CATS SUFFER A ‘BAD LOSS' TO JAYHAWKS, 83-62

LAWRENCE, Kan. - K-State's proud defense had no answers for KU's Ben McLemore-led offense falling by a count of 83-62. The KU freshman scored 30 points in the Jayhawk win that left both teams at 8-3 in Big 12 play.

The good news is that Kansas State is still in first place in the Big 12 Conference.

The bad news is that the Wildcats now share the league-lead with the Kansas Jayhawks.

Monday night the teams switched roles as K-State saw a four-game win streak come to a screeching stop, while KU saw a three-game funk end with an 83-62 victory in Allen Fieldhouse.

"It's not always who you play, but what you're playing that night," said KSU coach Bruce Weber, who saw his team slip to 8-3 in the Big 12 and 19-5 for the year. "They (KU) didn't deal with their first loss, they didn't deal with their second loss, but after their third loss it's always a good remedy to come back home and play in a great environment here.

"What was disappointing is that we didn't do what brought us here and got us to first place," said Weber.

"That's playing as a team, that's sharing the basketball and not going one-on-one. It's doing the disciplined things that you're coached to do."

As in so many games before this one in the Jayhawks' home, the outcome was decided early as it was a Murphy's Law first half for the Purples falling behind 47-29 at the intermission.

• "Bigs" Thomas Gipson and Jordan Henriquez each had two fouls in the first 6:32 of the game.

• K-State went six scoreless possessions early when it missed all seven shot attempts.

• At one point, KSU's No. 1 defense in the Big 12 allowed the Jayhawks to make seven straight shots from the field.

• The KU lead reached double figures with 9:52 to go, 21-10; the difference was 15, 28-13, at the 8:05 mark; and, it reached 21, 40-19, with 3:24 to go.

• KU owned the paint out-scoring K-State, 20-9, and winning the board game, 18-11.

• KU's All-Big 12 candidate Ben McLemore celebrated his 20th birthday with a 17-point first half, while KSU's all-star Rodney McGruder was limited to 1-of-5 shooting in the first half for three points.

• Kansas shot 59 percent in the first half and K-State shot 37 percent. "We talked pride and not quitting," Weber said of his halftime sermon.

The second half saw K-State close to within 15 points, 58-43, with just over 14 minutes remaining, but also Kansas take its biggest lead of the game at 25, 75-50, at the 8:38 mark on a 3-pointer by Ben McLemore, which upped his point count to 27 for the game.

"We got it down to where we wanted in the first five minutes, but then boom, boom, boom with three 3s and then it was back in the 20s," said Weber. "We've been on the road and come back, but you can't win with grand slams when no one is on base. You have to get the singles, or those easy plays. We kept trying to make the big plays when they weren't there."

As Weber summarized, "It was a bad night. It was a bad night to catch them and it was just disappointing because we're better than that.

"We're still in first place, but we let selfishness become a characteristic," said Weber. "Instead of moving the basketball, we put it on the floor too much and we didn't make the extra pass. We just got away from who we are."

STAT OF THE GAME:

K-State's defense has been ranked No. 1 in the league for the majority of the season, but this night belonged to the KU offense.

The 83 points KU scored were the most allowed by K-State this year, and the first time the ‘Cats allowed a team to score more than 73 points this season.

As Weber said of the night, "It wasn't so much offense as it was defense, and then rebounding was a major, major factor." Prior to Monday, K-State had held five Big 12 teams in 10 games to under 60 points.

In Big 12 play:

• KSU had been allowing 58.3 points … KU scored 83.

• KSU had been allowing teams to shoot just .409 from the field … KU shot .483.

• KSU had been allowing teams to hit just .299 from 3-point range … KU hit .381 (8-of-21).

• KSU had been out-rebounding teams by 5.2 per game … KU won the board count, 41-23. That included 14 offensive rebounds for the Jayhawks. KU outscored K-State in the paint 34-16.


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