No. 8 Kansas avenges earlier loss to No. 7 Kansas State, 90-78

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jalen Wilson had 20 points, Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 8 Kansas avenged a loss to Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago with a 90-78 victory over the seventh-ranked Wildcats.

Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 18 for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who built a 12-point halftime lead before coasting to their 17th straight home win over the Wildcats in the 10th matchup of top-10 teams in series history.

Kansas has rebounded nicely from a rare three-game skid that included the overtime loss to Kansas State, and made sure to avoid taking back-to-back losses in its storied home for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

Markquis Nowell scored 23 points and Keyontae Johnson had 22 to lead the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3), who were trying for their first regular-season sweep of their biggest rival in four decades. Nae’Qwan Tomlin added 11 points and David N’Guessan had 10.

In their first meeting on Jan. 17, the Wildcats raced to a big early lead and controlled the game until late in the second half, when the Jayhawks forced overtime — only for Kansas State to win on Johnson’s alley-oop dunk.

It was the Jayhawks who controlled the rematch.

They used a 16-7 run in the first half that included a technical foul on Kansas State coach Jerome Tang to build a 32-19 lead. And when Johnson answered with eight straight points for the Wildcats, and the lead was eventually trimmed to four, the reigning national champs pulled away again down the stretch.

It was 37-32 when Wilson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Zach Clemence added one of his own. And by the time Wilson made two foul shots with about 10 seconds left, Kansas had built a 49-37 lead that it took to the break.

The Wildcats briefly got within six in the second half before the Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 16.

OFFICIATING OOPS

Johnson had to sit with two fouls just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Only problem? The crew of John Higgins, Kip Kissinger and Marques Pettigrew gave one to the wrong player. By the time they corrected their mistake, the Wildcats’ leading scorer had unnecessarily ridden the bench for several minutes.

SELLOUT … AND THEN SOME

For the first time in more than 15 years, more Kansas students redeemed tickets than there was space available inside Allen Fieldhouse. The overflow had to watch the game on screens in the adjacent Horejsi Family Athletics Center, where the Jayhawks play volleyball games. Those students also got refunds and concessions vouchers.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State’s three losses in league play have been to ranked teams on the road: TCU, Iowa State and Kansas. And with a more forgiving second half to the Big 12 schedule, the Wildcats remain firmly in the conference title hunt.

Kansas got its mojo back with its win over Kentucky last weekend. This victory over another bunch of Wildcats was crucial because the road doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks, who are in the midst of three straight games against teams ranked 13th or better.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for another top-10 showdown Saturday against No. 10 Texas.

Kansas hits the road for the third time in four games against No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday.

No. 12 Iowa State holds on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76

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AMES, Iowa – Jaren Holmes matched his season high with 23 points as No. 12 Iowa State held on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76 on Tuesday night.

The Cyclones (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) moved into a three-way tie atop the conference standings with the Wildcats and Texas.

Gabe Kalscheur added 19 points for Iowa State. Osun Osunniyi finished with 16.

Markquis Nowell led Kansas State (17-3, 6-2) with 23 points.

A 3-pointer from Holmes gave Iowa State a 59-49 advantage with 8:12 remaining. Kansas State responded with a 10-1 run to trim the margin to 60-59.

Caleb Grill’s 3-pointer steadied the Cyclones and pushed the lead back to 63-59 with five minutes left.

Free throws by Osunniyi, Grill and Holmes sealed the victory in the final 24 seconds.

The first half featured eight lead changes and ended with Kansas State up 33-31.

A 3-pointer by Kalscheur ignited an early 9-0 run for the Cyclones and helped them build a 19-14 lead. Iowa State made just one of nine 3-point tries in the first 20 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State was trying to extend its best start to a season since 1961-62.

Iowa State improved to 11-0 at home. The Cyclones have not lost back-to-back games this season.

UP NEXT

Kansas State hosts Florida on Saturday as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Iowa State travels to Missouri on Saturday.

Purdue back at No. 1 in AP Top 25, Alabama right behind

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
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Purdue is back at No. 1 in the AP Top 25. Alabama is right behind the Boilermakers.

Purdue returned to the top spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, moving up two spots after Temple knocked off No. 1 Houston over the weekend. The Boilermakers received 39 first-place votes from a 62-person media panel after a volatile week where just two teams kept the same spot from a week ago.

Alabama climbed two spots to No. 2, picking up 23 first-place votes for its highest ranking since reaching No. 1 in 2002-03. Houston, Tennessee and Kansas State round out the top five.

Purdue (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten) had dropped to No. 3 after four weeks at No. 1 following a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 3, but has since won six straight.

Alabama (17-2, 7-0 SEC) has made a steady climb since being ranked No. 20 in the preseason AP Top 25, moving into the top 10 in early December. The Crimson Tide had lopsided wins over Missouri and Vanderbilt after Darius Miles was dismissed from the team as he faces a murder charge in a fatal shooting near campus.

Alabama coach Nate Oats reached out to Ray Lewis before the Crimson Tide played Vanderbilt last week, sharing a Bible verse suggested by the Hall of Fame linebacker. Alabama ended up beating Vandy by 12 and rolled over Missouri by 21.

“I did see some guys break down postgame,” Oats said. “I think they’ve been bottling some stuff up. We’ve got a job to do. We’ve got to get to the game. We got to the game and took care of business, and then it’s almost like a big relief. The game’s over, and we can let out a sigh of relief.”

COUGARS FALL

Houston moved atop the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Phi Slama Jama of the 1980s earlier this season before a loss to Alabama dropped it back to No. 5.

The Cougars returned to No. 1 on Jan. 9, but their run ended after two weeks with Sunday’s 56-55 loss to Temple. The win was the Owls’ first over a No. 1 team since 2000.

BEATING KU

Kansas State moved up eight spots to No. 5 after outlasting rival Kansas 83-82 at Bramlage Coliseum last week. It’s the Wildcats’ highest ranking since reaching No. 3 in 2010-11.

TCU gave Kansas consecutive losses in the state for the first time since 1989 with a 23-point beatdown at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. It was one of Bill Self’s worst losses in 20 years as Kansas’ coach and ended the Jayhawks’ 16-game home winning streak.

The No. 14 Horned Frogs moved up three spots in this week’s poll after the win. Kansas, the defending national champion, dropped seven spots to No. 9.

BIG TEN BUMMER

While Purdue has remained near the top of the poll most of the season, the rest of the Big Ten has fallen off. With Rutgers dropping out, the Big Ten has just one AP Top 25 team for the first time since the Feb. 16, 2004, when No. 12 Wisconsin was the conference’s lone ranked team, according to Sportradar.

RISING/FALLING

Kansas State had the week’s biggest jump, followed by No. 4 Tennessee and No. 6 Arizona each climbing five spots. No. 21 Baylor moved up four spots with wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

Gonzaga had the biggest fall, losing eight places to No. 14 after Loyola Marymount ended the Zags’ 75-game home winning streak on Thursday. No. 13 Xavier dropped five spots after a one-point road loss to DePaul.

IN AND OUT

No. 22 Saint Mary’s is ranked for the first time this season after rolling over Pepperdine and Santa Clara last week. No. 25 New Mexico is back in the poll after beating San Jose State and outlasting Boise State in overtime.

A three-point loss to Michigan State knocked Rutgers out of the poll from No. 23. Arkansas dropped out from No. 25 following a loss to Missouri.

Johnson scores 24 as No. 13 Kansas State beats No. 2 Kansas 83-82

Kansas v Kansas State
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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State coach Jerome Tang grabbed a microphone and stood amid a sea of purple, moments after delirious fans had flooded the floor to celebrate the No. 13 Wildcats’ 83-82 overtime win over second-ranked Kansas.

“You have one court-storming,” the Wildcats’ first-year coach told them over the din. “After this, we expect to win.”

Expectations are sure to soar in the Little Apple now.

After blowing a 14-point first-half lead, the Wildcats responded to every haymaker Kansas threw down the stretch. And when their game went to overtime, and players kept fouling out, Keyontae Johnson delivered for Kansas State, throwing down a go-ahead alley-oop dunk with 25 seconds left that ultimately proved to be the difference.

“In order to elevate,” Johnson said later, “we have to beat teams like Kansas.”

Johnson and Desi Sills finished with 24 points apiece, and Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 15 points and 10 boards, as the Wildcats (16-2, 5-1 Big 12) bounced back from a blowout loss to TCU by beating the Jayhawks for the first time since Feb 5, 2019.

Jalen Wilson tried to take over in overtime for Kansas, converting a three-point play, knocking down a 3-pointer and making a pair of free throws for an 82-80 lead with just over a minute to go. But after Johnson made a free throw at the other end, Wilson missed a deep 3-pointer as the shot-clock expired to give the Wildcats another chance.

After a timeout, Markquis Nowell threw the lob that Johnson slammed down for an 83-82 advantage.

Kansas (16-2, 5-1) also called a timeout to set up its own finishing play, but normally sure-handed Dajuan Harris Jr. lost the ball in traffic, and the Jayhawks never got a chance to put up a potentially winning shot.

“If you told me we’d have the ball with a chance to win twice, that’s something I’d probably sell out for,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “That last possession is one possession I probably wish we could take back.”

Wilson played all 45 minutes and finished with a career-high 38 points for the Jayhawks. KJ Adams had 17 points and Gradey Dick had 16, though both of the key players were riding the bench at the finish after fouling out.

Both teams had chances to win in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Kansas had possession first with 23 seconds to go and the game tied at 72, only to watch Harris lose control near the midcourt line – much like he did at the finish to overtime. The Wildcats grabbed the loose ball and pitched it ahead to Johnson, but the star forward missed a wild shot at the rim just before the buzzer sounded.

Johnson wouldn’t miss when he got another winning chance in overtime.

It was the most anticipated Sunflower Showdown in years, drawing a capacity crowd that snaked around Bramlage Coliseum hours before tipoff as it waited to get in. and it was the less-regarded Wildcats rather than the defending national champions that demonstrated early poise and precision.

Kansas State made its first five 3-pointers and shot 52% from the field in the first half. It stuffed Wilson, the Big 12’s top scorer, three times before he made a basket. And at one point, the Wildcats led by as many as 14 points.

“They were shooting lights-out,” Adams said.

Yet there’s a reason the Jayhawks entered the night 29-5 in Bramlage Coliseum.

They always seem to deal with the pressure there.

Wilson finally got on track, scoring 12 in the first half, and Adams found success with floaters in the lane, pouring in 15 by the break. The Jayhawks eventually closed down the perimeter, forcing Kansas State to unsuccessfully drive to the basket, and they slowly trimmed away at their deficit, closing within 44-39 by halftime.

Despite foul trouble, the Jayhawks eventually made it all the way back, taking their first lead since the opening minutes at 59-57 with just under 8 minutes to go. But neither team was willing to give up down the stretch.

That’s why 40 minutes wasn’t enough to decide it.

“The great thing about basketball is we’ll have another game in two days, three days. We can’t dwell on this,” Wilson said quietly. “We have another good team coming up and we’ll see them again. That’s the beauty of the Big 12.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Kansas hung around despite foul trouble, going 24 of 34 on free throws and shooting 6 of 29 from the 3-point arc. The Jayhawks did it by turning around early turnover trouble and effectively getting to the rim on offense, though they weren’t able to do that given one last chance in overtime.

Kansas State relies heavily on Nowell to make things happen, particularly on offense, and his worst games have led to losses. He was held to 13 points by Butler and committed five turnovers against TCU. But despite scoring just four points against Kansas, he piled up seven assists with none more important than the last.

UP NEXT

Kansas returns home to play No. 14 TCU on Saturday. Kansas State plays Texas Tech the same day.

No. 17 TCU snaps No. 11 Kansas State’s 9-game winning streak

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Emanuel Miller scored 23 points, Eddie Lampkin Jr. had a season-high 17 with several key inside baskets and No. 17 TCU beat 11th-ranked Kansas State 82-68 on Saturday, ending the Wildcats’ nine-game winning streak.

Mike Miles Jr. had a double-double with 13 points with 11 assists for the Horned Frogs (14-3, 3-2 Big 12), who were coming off back-to-back losses after an 11-game winning streak of their own. Damion Baugh had 11 points.

Kansas State (15-2, 4-1) had gone from unranked to the verge of the top 10 after winning three consecutive games against Top 25 teams. The Wildcats beat Oklahoma State in their first home game as a ranked team in four years on Tuesday, then jumped out to a 11-6 lead in their first road game before Lampkin and TCU took over.

Keyontae Johnson had 18 for the Wildcats, who trailed by as many as 25 points midway through the second half before some late baskets. Markquis Nowell finished with 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting, but only after scoring 14 in the final 5 1/2 minutes. Nowell was coming off four consecutive 20-point games.

Lampkin had back-to-back layups on passes from Miles during the middle of TCU’s second 13-2 run before halftime. He took an inbound pass from Miles, who then stole the ball from Nowell and was in the lane when he made a leaping no-look pass to his 6-foot-11, 263-pound teammate for another layup that made it 32-21. That run ended with consecutive baskets by Miller that made it 38-23.

During the middle of their earlier 13-2 run, which took the Frogs from a five-point deficit to leading for good, Lampkin made a layup with the crowd already in a frenzy. When he got back to the other end setting up for defense, Lampkin bent over and slammed both hands on the floor to fire up the fans even more.

Right after that, Chuck O’Bannon stripped the ball from Nae’Qwan Tomlin as he went up for a shot and passed ahead to Lampkin. A flagrant foul was called on Ismael Massoud and Lampkin hit one of the free throws for a 19-13 lead.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State: The Wildcats shot 43.1% (28 of 65), but had 20 turnovers, including seven by Johnson and six by Nowell – both season highs. K-State was down 22 points and Nowell had only two points before he made a 3-pointer with 5 1/2 minutes left and followed that with two quick layups.

TCU: The Horned Frogs played their fourth consecutive Top 25 opponent, and split those games. The two losses were by a combined six points, including the previous Saturday when Iowa State hit a late shot for a 69-67 win before the Frogs blew an 18-point lead in a 79-75 loss at No. 10 Texas on Wednesday night. … Lampkin was 6-of-7 shooting, with a dunk and five layups, in only his fourth double-figure scoring game this season.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kansas State won’t move into the top 10 for the first time since March 2013 when the new poll comes out Monday, but the Wildcats will still be solidly ranked. The Frogs were unchanged after a loss last week, and may be that way again when they will be ranked for the seventh consecutive poll.

UP NEXT

Kansas State hosts second-ranked defending national champion Kansas on Tuesday night.

TCU is on road twice next week, at West Virginia on Wednesday before playing at Kansas on Saturday.

Nowell scores 36 as Kansas State rolls over No. 6 Texas 116-103

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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AUSTIN, Texas – Markquis Nowell had 36 points and nine assists as Kansas State beat No. 6 Texas 116-103 on Tuesday night, setting a school scoring record with a stunning offensive outburst that gave first-year Wildcats coach Jerome Tang his biggest victory.

The Wildcats poured in 58 points in the first half behind 64% shooting and eight 3-pointers. Kansas State then held off a Texas rally as the Longhorns made 11 consecutive shots in the second half and shaved a 20-point deficit under 10 with just under five minutes left.

“We wanted to be aggressive the first five minutes,” said Nowell, who was one assist shy of being the first Kansas State player with at least 30 points and 10 assists. “We’re a really dangerous team when we get it going downhill.”

And they never let up, especially in the second half as the teams traded basket after basket.

Nowell and Kansas State also showed enough poise to get the big shots they needed late to close out the win. Nowell’s two free throws with 3:23 remaining made it 100-88 before he swished a step-back 3-pointer on the next possession to put an exclamation point on the night for the Wildcats.

Keyontae Johnson added 28 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (13-1, 2-0 Big 12), whose free-flowing offense with Nowell leading the way found just about any open shot the team wanted. Nowell came into the game No. 2 nationally in assists, and his shifty drives and nifty passing had Texas defenders looking for the ball all game.

“People who complain about scoring in college basketball, I think they got to see a whole bunch of scoring tonight. Those of us who consider ourselves defensive coaches? It was a headache,” Tang said. “But it was a lot of fun.”

The scoring display is sure to grab the attention of the rest of the Big 12.

“Every game is a statement game for us,” Johnson said. “We were picked last in the conference. We have to keep proving people wrong.”

Tyrese Hunter scored 29 points and Marcus Carr had 27 for the Longhorns, handed their first loss in their new arena, the Moody Center.

Kansas State also sent the Longhorns (12-2, 1-1) to their first loss since head coach Chris Beard was suspended indefinitely without pay following his Dec. 12 arrest on a felony family violence charge. Assistant coach Rodney Terry has been acting head coach since then and had led Texas to five straight wins, including a victory at Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener.

The 116 points were the most Texas has permitted in a Big 12 game.

“We’ll work hard to get a lot better defensively,” Terry said. “(Nowell) put his will on the game.”

Sir’Jabari Rice’s three-point play pulled Texas to 77-65 with 11:28 to play and a Longhorns rally was on. A block by Rice against Nowell set up another Longhorns 3-pointer. But the Wildcats kept answering, usually behind Nowell.

“Every time the crowd got into it, our guys were able to silence it,” Tang said. “That was huge.”

KEEPING IT CLEAN

Texas has smothered a lot of opponents with aggressive defense that often leads to turnovers and points in transition. Kansas State committed just 12 turnovers, though, and only three in the second half. That sort of ball control kept the Longhorns from getting extra possessions. Texas scored just nine points off K-State turnovers.

“This was a game where both teams’ players were making big shots,” Tang said. “As long as you don’t turn it over, the ball is going in the hole.”

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State: Made 31 of 33 free throws to maintain a comfortable cushion in the second half.

Texas: School officials have provided no updates on Beard’s status with the program. His legal case is scheduled for its first court hearing on Jan. 18. His fiancee issued a Dec. 23 statement saying he did not choke her during the Dec. 12 incident, contradicting what the arrest warrant affidavit said she initially told police. Beard’s attorney has said the coach is innocent.

UP NEXT

Kansas State plays at No. 19 Baylor.

Texas visits Oklahoma State.