Cats Fall to the Jayhawks

LAWRENCE — Bob Huggins said not too many of his players came ready to play in a 97-70 thrashing at the hands of No. 9 Kansas Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse. The one player Huggins said did show up was Jermaine Maybank.

The senior easily had the best game of his career with a game-high 26 points while grabbing four hard-fought rebounds. He went 7-of-10 from the field and knocked down 12-of-15 free throw attempts.

"Thank God Jermaine came, because a couple of our other guys didn't," Huggins said. "He's a great guy who wants to play and loves to compete. I'm glad we got him."

Maybank set career highs in his performance against the Jayhawks, with 26 points 33 minutes played and three steals.

"I just try to do the intangibles," he said. "I've been doing the things that coach Huggins asked me to do, like be the spark off the bench. Unfortunately it probably wasn't enough tonight, though."

One reason it wasn't enough was because of players like senior Cartier Martin and junior David Hoskins. These two came into the game as the leading scorers for the Wildcats, but combined for only 24 points against Kansas.

Martin hit only two shots and went 0-of-5 from the 3-point line. Hoskins struggled just as much as Martin, hitting only four shots while committing a game-high four turnovers.

"We didn't play well at all," Martin said. "I think we came into the game a little overly excited, but not to the point where we should not have came out and performed. I think we just didn't come out and play tonight."

Martin only played 24 minutes, and Hoskins played 23 after Huggins pulled them both early in the second quarter. They both came back into the game with five minutes remaining, but the contest was well in hand by that point.

Maybank, however, stayed on the floor for 33 minutes because he was aggressive on both ends of the court and played smart basketball.

With the team down 15-2 early in the game, Maybank scored two quick baskets and led the charge as K-State (17-7, 6-3 Big 12 Conference) tried to mount a comeback.

The Wildcats got back within six points a couple of times, but it wasn't enough as the rest of the team couldn't provide enough help to assist Maybank.

He drove the lane on numerous occasions, but wisely dished the ball out to one of his teammates if it wasn't open or went up and drew a foul.

He also had plenty of opportunities to take ill-advised 3-point attempts, but again chose to drive the lane where he is more of a scoring threat.

His hard-nosed defense added to his overall performance, and Huggins should continue giving him lots of quality minutes off the bench.

He was the only player that didn't seem rattled by the atmosphere and raucous crowd inside of Allen Fieldhouse.

That seemed a bit odd considering it was his first game in Lawrence, while Martin was making his fourth appearance and Hoskins was making his second.

"I'm used to playing in front of crowds like that. I'm from New York City," Maybank said. "I don't get rattled by crowds. I've seen way bigger things. A crowd is not going to rattle me."

When asked after the game if his performance in any way overshadowed the loss to Kansas (20-4, 7-2 Big 12), he showed leadership and poise with his answer.

"Not at all. We lost tonight," he said. "This was a big game. We're trying to go somewhere. We're trying to go to the tournament. This 26-point whatever game I had means nothing when we're trying to get somewhere and we lose."

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