On Monday night in Lawrence, the 14th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks got back to winning in defeating 10th-ranked Kansas State, 83-62. Freshman guard Ben McLemore led the Jayhawks with 30 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
With the win, Kansas improved to 20-4 overall, and 8-3 in Big 12 conference play, while Kansas State fell to 19-5 overall, and 8-3 in conference. Jeff Withey added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Kansas, plus Kevin Young and Travis Releford both scored in double-figures. Young scored 13 points, while Releford scored 10. Naadir Thorpe added 7 points and eight assists.
The Wildcats were led by Rodney McGruder who scored 20 points after finding his offensive touch in the second half after being held to three first half points. Angel Rodriguez added 17 points.
Kansas was in control throughout, turning a close game early on into an 11-point lead with a 11-3 run. From there the lead ballooned to 21 at 40-19, before the Wildcats trimmed it a little at halftime.
In the second half, Kansas’s lead rose to 25 points at 75-50 after a McLemore made three-pointer at the 8:42 mark. The lead didn’t really change the rest of the way.
Next up for Kansas is a rematch with Texas in Lawrence, on Saturday. On Jan. 19th, the Jayhawks defeated a tough Texas squad in Austin, 64-59. Texas has since continued to struggle, entering the week with a 2-8 record in conference and 10-13 overall. Help is on its way as last season’s starting point guard Myck Kabongo is expected to start on Wednesday when the Longhorns face Iowa State.
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