The win improved the Jayhawks to 22-7 on the season and 13-3 in conference play and ensured the team at least a share of the Big 12 Conference regular season championship. Kansas can claim the outright title if No. 7 Texas loses at home to 17th-ranked Oklahoma on Sunday.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but Kansas responded with an 18-3 run ignited by a Mario Chalmers three-point bucket at the 16:03 mark. The Jaywhawks would eventually go into the break with a 39-24 lead after freshman Brandon Rush banked in a three-point basket of his own at the halftime buzzer. Chalmers had 14 points in the first half of action.
Kansas State came out hot in the second half and clawed its way to within three points on two occasions. That is as close as the team would get, however, as Kansas regained its form behind some hot shooting from Rush. The Kansas City, Mo., native led all scorers with 24 points, 16 of which came in the second half.
Kansas out-rebounded Kansas State, 35-34, led by the freshman trio Julian Wright, Chalmers and Rush who each had six on the afternoon. Sophomore Russell Robinson chipped in with 11 points and five assists. Cartier Martin scored 17 points to pace Kansas State who dropped to 15-12 on the season and 6-10 in conference action.
Kansas will be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship March 9-12 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. KU will play its first game Friday, March 10, in the quarterfinals of the event.
Story courtesy: KUAC