No. 14 Kansas wipes Kansas State with big second half

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The second edition of the 2024 men’s Sunflower Showdown ended with 14th-ranked Kansas giving Kansas State a 90-68 shellacking on Tuesday night.

Kansas State jumped out to an early 10-5 lead but a 10-0 run thanks to some fastbreak turnovers helped Kansas get a 17-15 lead with 12 minutes to go in the half.

Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang went with a whimsical strategy early in the half to call two of his four timeouts when Kansas got a big play to keep the crowd level from getting too high.

It helped a little with the Wildcats decreasing their deficit to 22-24 with eight minutes to go but it wouldn’t last. The Jayhawks increased their lead to 32-22 on an 8-0 run.

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Getting to the free throw line helped the Jayhawks in their run with Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar both splashing shots home from the charity stripe.

Kansas ended the first half with a 44-36 lead.

KU’s relentless hand defense gave K-State fits in the first half as they garnered six steals that led to eight fastbreak points.

The Jayhawks shot 40% from the field but made 16 of their 18 free throws.

The Wildcats shot 42.3% from the field in the first half but only hit four of their 10 free throws.

The second half was more of the same as KU raced out to a 14-point lead and didn’t look back.

Seniors Kevin McCullar (19 points, three rebounds, three assists) and Hunter Dickinson (15 points, 20 rebounds, five blocks) led Kansas on Senior Night while senior Nic Timberlake added 18 points (6-7 FG, 4-5 3FG).

Kansas State was led by Will McNair Jr. who tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Tylor Perry struggled immensely recording just two points from free throws going 0 for 6 from the field.

Kansas goes to 22-8, 10-7 in the Big 12 and faces Houston on Saturday at 3 p.m.

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K-State sees their NCAA Tournament hopes diminish with this loss as they go to 17-13 on the season and 7-10 in the Big 12.

The Wildcats go to Iowa State on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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