Cats Fall Short at "Bramlage Blackout"

Wildcat Fans and students came in droves and packed Bram, helping to fuel the pre-game hype as the Cats took on the Hawks in Manhattan Monday Night. The Cats drop one at home to the Hawks 71-62 and now have to rebound and set their sites on "The Tourney" and earning a NCAA Tournament bid ...with the last three games on the schedule critical for Coach Huggins and his Wildcats.

Kansas' Sherron Collins did not play like a freshman Monday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

He scored a game-high 20 points to lead the No. 6-ranked Jayhawks over K-State 71-62 and extend the Wildcats home losing streak to Kansas (24-4, 11-2 Big 12 Conference) to 24 games dating back to the old Ahearn Field House days.

The "Bramlage Blackout" was in full effect, and the fans packed the sold out coliseum and created a hostile atmosphere that hasn't been seen in years.

The Wildcats (19-9, 8-5 Big 12) were fueled by all the pregame hoopla and played an impressive first half to take a 30-29 halftime lead. The defense was stellar and the crowd could feel an upset brewing.

The second half was a completely different story, however, as K-State gave up 42 points and was not able to sustain the same high level of intensity and momentum during the final 20 minutes.

Collins was the biggest reason why K-State struggled in the second half. He had his way with the K-State defense and scored 14 points in virtually any way he wanted.

The Jayhawk freshman slashed his way to the basket and hit outside jump shots.

Collins converted all three of his shots when he drove into the paint. He also drew a foul driving to the lane and made both free throws.

When he wasn't driving he was distributing the ball effectively and knocking down outside shots. He hit 2-of-3 3-point attempts, and he had two assists in the second half. He also had four turnovers in the first half but never committed one in the second.

"Collins is special. Collins is a really good player," K-State coach Bob Huggins said. "He has such a great base, and if you get on the side of him like we let him do, he's not going to let you get back around. If he gets in front of you, he's going to take you wherever he wants to take you."

Mario Chalmers scored 17 for Kansas, Darrell Arthur had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Brandon Rush scored 11.

At one point in the second half, Collins scored nine out of Kansas' 11 points that helped extend the Jayhawks lead from five points to 10 with 3:15 left to play.

Collins was big for Kansas, but K-State didn't help itself out by allowing the Jayhawks to get 34 points in the paint and 13 second chance points.

The Wildcats also shot just 32 percent from the field while Kansas hit 51 percent of its shots. K-State hit eight three's, but was outrebounded 40-30.

Senior Cartier Martin led K-State with 19 points. He made four 3-pointers, but missed two free throws late that hurt the Wildcats.

Junior Clent Stewart scored 11 points, senior Lance Harris had 10 and seven rebounds and senior Akeem Wright had nine points and five rebounds.

Harris was only 4-for-13 from the field, but he and Wright both hit two 3-pointers.

The play of junior David Hoskins was easily the most disappointing factor in the game, and he'll be the first one to admit it.

"If I would have hit half my shots, maybe a quarter of them, we wouldn't have lost this game," Hoskins said. "I put this loss on my shoulders."

He went 2-of-15 from the field and scored only nine points. He did lead the team in rebounds with eight, but he could never get into rhythm offensively and his play hurt K-State down the stretch.

This game will be remembered as another one against the Jayhawks that K-State just couldn't win.

Now the Wildcats will be fighting for an NCAA Tournament bid. The team will have to win the last three games of the regular season in order to make a case for a tournament selection.

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