MANHATTAN, Kansas -- No. 3 Kansas continued its dominance over cross-state rival Kansas State as the Jayhawks beat the No. 11 Wildcats, 59-55 for their 23rd win in 25 all-time meetings at Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night.
The victory gave Kansas (17-1, 5-0) the outright lead in the Big 12 Conference.
Travis Releford led Kansas with 12 points and Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore added 11 for the Jayhawks.
Kansas State's Rodney McGruder continued his trend of getting hot in the second half by scoring 11 of his 13 points after intermission. K-State was led by Shane Southwell with 19 points. But it was not enough for the Wildcats (15-3, 4-1).
Kansas won its first 19 trips to Bramlage between 1989 and 2007 before K-State finally beat the Jayhawks in 2008, the year Kansas last won the national championship.
McLemore scored seven straight points for Kansas in the second half to help the Jayhawks pull away. He followed a Withey miss. After Southwell hit a jumper to cut the lead to five points, McLemore hit a trey and followed that with a 15-foot jumper to give Kansas a 10-point lead at 53-43.
Kansas State could get no closer than three points the rest of the game.
Kansas State started the second half with McGruder 3-point basket to cut the lead to 31-30, but Kansas went on an 8-0 run to open up the largest lead of the game at that point.
Kansas State was able to stay in the game in the first half, despite shooting just 34.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range. Kansas also out-rebounded Kansas State 21-14.
The fact that K-State shot twice as many 3-point shots as Kansas kept the lead from being larger.
Kansas State's strategy early on was to keep the ball away from Withey, who is second in the nation in blocks with 4.6 blocks per game. The Cats took 16 3-pointers in the first half, making only four. Will Spradling was 0-for-4 and McGruder was 0-for-2.
Fortunately for K-State, Angel Rodriguez was hot. After being held scoreless in both games against Kansas last year as a freshman, he scored nine of the team's first 14 points and finished the half with a game-high 12 points. He finished the game with 12 points.
When Southwell hit his second 3-pointer midway through the first half it capped a 9-0 run and turned an eight-point deficit into a one-point lead for Kansas State.
Kansas answered with six quick points before Rodriguez scored on a contested lay-up. The teams traded baskets down the stretch and Kansas went to the half with a 31-27 lead.
NOTES: Kansas extended the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games. ... Kansas State's winning streak was stopped at eight games, it's longest since winning 10 in a row in the 2009-10 season. ... Kansas State's three losses are all to teams currently in the top 10 (the other two are No. 2 Michigan and No. 10 Gonzaga). ... The all-time series is heavily in Kansas' favor, with the Jayhawks winning 45 of the last 48 to assume a 184-91 record all-time. In Manhattan, Kansas leads 75-45.