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Kansas edges out K-State

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Survive and advance. That's usually a mantra you hear in March, not January. But for this year's Jayhawk team, one who continues to find themselves struggling to put teams away, and who have already lost two games in Allen Fieldhouse, it's a fitting mindset.

The Lawrence half of this year's Sunflower Showdown was no different. On the heels of a too-close-for-comfort win over Iowa State Tuesday, KU found themselves in a very similar situation against Kansas State. Some good play early had Kansas up 13-4, but the rest of the half was mostly won by the visitors, who led by as many as six. Two threes in the last minute by Svi Mykhailiuk would tie it at 34 going into the locker room.

After some back and forth play to start the second half, the Jayhawks looked like they may finally be taking over. Some good defense and patient offense earned them a 46-38 lead, but once again, K-State came storming back. Freshman Cartier Diarra had an invincible stretch where he carried the team in purple, who would eventually earn the lead back.

Down the stretch, clutch free throw shooting by Xavier Sneed put KSU up 72-71 with 30.1 on the clock. On the other end, Malik Newman got a clean path to the basket, and was fouled as he went to the rim, but hit two huge free throws of his own. K-State had a chance at a game winning shot, but Barry Brown held the ball a bit long, and his contested three bounced off the front of the rim.

Kansas was led by Devonte Graham (23 points, 5 assists) and Udoka Azubuike (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks). They're now 4-1 in Big 12 play, and have their biggest game of the year to date Monday, as they head to Morgantown to face first place West Virginia.