No. 2 Kansas Sweeps Sunflower Showdown with 72-63 Victory
MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 2 Kansas swept the Dillons Sunflower Showdown season series with a 72-63 victory over K-State on Saturday evening at a hostile Bramlage Coliseum.
The Jayhawks (23-4, 11-3 Big 12) shot 50 percent from the field led by double-figure scoring efforts from Frank Mason III (16 points), Perry Ellis (14), and Wayne Selden Jr. (12). Landen Lucas grabbed eight rebounds to lead KU on the glass for the eighth time in the last 10 games.
Mason’s free throw with 7:17 remaining in the second half put him in elite company as he became the 58th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career points. The junior guard, who also dished out a team-high five assists, joins Selden and Ellis as the first Kansas trio of 1,000-point scorers on the same team since Keith Langford, Wayne Simien and Aaron Miles teamed up during the 2004-05 season.
Kansas earns the regular-season series sweep over the Wildcats (15-12, 4-10) for the first time since 2013. After a season-low rebounding performance of 21 boards in the first meeting on Feb. 3 in Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas outrebounded K-State 34 to 32 on Saturday.
“It’s great to win over here because it’s always hard. The atmosphere is always really good,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said.
Kansas went into halftime with a 39-29 lead after a rough-and-tumble first half that featured a combined 18 fouls in the first 11 minutes of regulation.
Kansas controlled the tip and went back-and-forth with the Wildcats before owning a 15-12 deficit at the hands of a 7-0 K-State run. Selden answered the call with a pull-up 3-pointer in transition to tie it and halt K-State’s momentum.
Sophomore guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk made three 3-pointers on the night, including two in the in the first half that helped Kansas take the go-ahead lead. Mykhailiuk’s second trey gave KU a 26-25 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first half. Kansas would not surrender the lead for the remainder of the game.
After taking the go-ahead lead, the Kansas defense forced two consecutive K-State shot clock violations while Mason single-handedly separated from K-State on the offensive end with a pair of layups and a 3-pointer to lift Kansas to a 35-25 lead.
KU ended the first half on an 18-4 run and, after starting the game 4-of-12 from the field, Kansas shot 11-for-13 from 7:30 in the first half to 18:43 in the second.
Kansas led by 14, 55-41, at the 12:02 mark in the second half when Ellis left the game due to a blow to the head while pursuing a rebound. The bloody injury resulted in 12 stiches before Ellis could return to the game with just under six minutes remaining.
“We came out in the second half and played almost flawlessly – we go up (with our largest lead by) 17 and we are running,” Self said. “But then after Perry (Ellis) got hurt and it shut down.”
The absence of KU’s senior leader opened the door for K-State to use a 14-3 run to pull within five points, 60-55, with 5:15 remaining.
A one-handed jam from Jamari Traylor helped keep K-State at bay. But foul trouble caught up with Traylor and Lucas who both fouled K-State’s D.J. Johnson, respectively, to reach five fouls. Johnson made 3-of-4 free throws to bring K-State within three points, 65-62, with 2:11 remaining.
Reigning Big 12 Player of the Week Devonte’ Graham entered Saturday on a hot streak, but had a slow offensive game in Manhattan on Saturday. Despite his struggles, Graham came through when it mattered most – his only field goal of the night was deemed the biggest shot of the game by Coach Self after the game.
As K-State was within three points of KU’s lead, Graham nailed a jumper to give the Jayhawks a 67-63 lead.
KU’s defense held K-State scoreless on its final three offensive possessions while Graham and Mason combined to make 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to secure the victory.
Kansas continues its pursuit of 12-straight Big 12 regular-season titles when facing Baylor on Tuesday night (7 p.m. CST, ESPN2) in Waco, Texas.
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS):
Jr. G Frank Mason III (27/66)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (26/26)
Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (27/98)
Sr. F Perry Ellis (28/98)
Jr. F Landen Lucas (9/23)
• Kansas leads the all-time series with Kansas State, 190-93.
• KU increases its series lead in Bramlage Coliseum to 24-4.
• The Jayhawks win the regular-season series against their in-state rivals for the first time since 2013.
ATTENDANCE: 12,528 (Bramlage Coliseum sellout)
• Made Kansas 23-4 overall and 11-3 in Big 12 play.
• Extended KU’s winning streak to seven games.
• Gave Kansas 11 conference wins for the 22nd-straight season, which began during the 1994-95 season in the Big Eight era.
• Made Self 26-5 all-time versus Kansas State (25-5 while at Kansas).
• Made KU 2,176-835 all-time.
• Frank Mason III reached 1,000 career points, ending the night with 1,001 as a Jayhawk. He becomes the 58th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career points and joins teammates Wayne Selden Jr., and Perry Ellis as the first Kansas trio of 1,000-point scorers on the same team since Keith Langford, Wayne Simien and Aaron Miles teamed up during the 2004-05 season.
• During KU’s 18-4 run to end the half, the Jayhawks made 8-of-10 field goals, led by Frank Mason III’s seven points and three assists.
• After starting the game shooting 4-of-12 from the field, Kansas shot 11-for-13 during a stretch from the 7:30 mark of the first half to the 18:43 mark of the second half.
• Kansas remains in first-place in the Big 12 standings with an 11-3 league record. Oklahoma and West Virginia are in a tie for second-place at 9-5. With four league games remaining, 13 conference wins would clinch at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title.
• Two Jayhawks fouled out in a game (Landen Lucas, Jamari Traylor) for the first time since the game at Iowa State on Jan. 25.
• With Texas’ loss to Baylor at home on Saturday, Kansas is now the only team in the Big 12 with an undefeated league record at home (7-0).
Junior G Frank Mason III
• Scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting with five assists, two steals, and just one turnover in 33 minutes.
• Became the 58th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career points (1,001).
• Joins teammates Wayne Selden Jr., and Perry Ellis as the first Kansas trio of 1,000-point scorers on the same team since Keith Langford, Wayne Simien and Aaron Miles teamed up during the 2004-05 season.
• Led KU in scoring for the fourth time this season.
Junior F Landen Lucas
• Grabbed eight rebounds with seven points and a block in just 13 minutes of action
• Led Kansas in rebounding for the eighth time in the last 10 games.
Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
• Scored 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 32 minutes.
Senior F Perry Ellis
• Scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 30 minutes.
• Suffered a scratch to his eye and a blow to the head that needed 12 stiches.
Sophomore G Svi Mykhailiuk
• Made his first three 3-point field goals, finishing with nine points, four rebounds, and two assists in 20 minutes.
Head coach Bill Self
On K-State players wanting a court storm…
“I think it is fine that they made mention of [Brannen Greene’s] dunk. The home team uses whatever motivation they can. Trust me, we will do the same thing. I think that registers more with fans than it does with players at least on the opposing side. I do think we can use a lot of things as motivation. Last year’s court storming was motivation for us. You can always take something and spin it. We really did not have to do that.”
On makeshift lineup of players…
“We actually played really well for about 28 minutes, and got up 17 [points]. Then, we made some of the most bonehead plays that led to fouls for Jamari [Traylor] and Landen [Lucas] and Perry [Ellis] was out. So, you are right, that was a makeshift lineup. I think Hunter [Mickelson] might have had the best defensive play of the game in the deflection that went off of D.J. [Johnson]. Jamari [Traylor] got a big dunk, Wayne [Selden Jr.] had an offensive rebound put back, and Devonte’ [Graham] who had a goose egg I think, makes the biggest shot of the game. So, it was makeshift, and we did not really have anything going for us at all in the last eight minutes or so. We did have guys step up and make enough plays.”
On Perry Ellis absence during long stretch…
“I think if we say it was really important, you take away from them playing well down the stretch. Whoever is in there has to step up, but we missed him. He got 12 stitches and the serious deal was when Wayne [Selden Jr.] scratched him in the eye. We will go back and have an eye doctor look at it – they are hoping it is just a scratch. If that is the case, he should be okay. If there is anything more than that, then who knows? We think he will be fine, but he does not feel very well right now.”
Guard Frank Mason III
On winning at K-State for the first time in two years….
“It was very important for me and the guys. There are a couple of us that have not had a win here and we took that personal. We just came out and executed the game plan, doing the things coach wanted us to do to give us the best chance to win.”
On having a two game lead in the Big 12…..
“We are in decent position, but we are not satisfied with where we are at. We are not satisfied with the team we are right now. We still need to get better. There are still a lot of things we could do better, definitely can get better on the defensive end. We are looking forward to a good team on Tuesday with Baylor. We will go practice tomorrow and Monday and then hopefully go over there and get the win.”
Guard Wayne Selden Jr.
On K-State’s comeback….
“Just getting stops was the biggest thing. We predicated on what we were doing by getting stops and playing good defense, and I feel like we did that for a large stretch of the game but then we got away from it. Then we did not take care of the ball.”
On playing without Perry Ellis in second half…..
“It gave them a little momentum and a lot more confidence. Then Landen (Lucas) was on the bench with foul trouble, Jamari (Traylor) was in foul trouble and it was kind of shaky at times, but we pulled it out and got stops. Then, Perry came back and that just made us feel more comfortable. Perry does not even have to do much but just have him out there.”
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