If you were hoping for a departure from the Jayahwks’ recent rock-fight style of play, you were probably disappointed with this one.
True, it never felt like the Wildcats were truly in the game, but the Jayhawks didn’t seem motivated to step on their throats out of the gate, either. Kansas State shot 8-28 (29%) from the floor in the first half, and missed every single one of their three point attempts. Despite this, KU led just 26-17 at the break, and even that was thanks to a couple of quick buckets near the end. Kansas shot just 40% and failed to control the boards, which kept this from being a beatdown the whole way through. Jalen Wilson was once again a bright spot on the half, scoring 11 and grabbing seven rebounds.
The second half generally saw the Jayhawks extend their lead, but not without answers from K-State keeping them within arm’s reach. Freshmen Dajuan Harris and Bryce Thompson gave KU a jolt of energy early in the second half, as they got very little from WIlson, David McCormack and Marcus Garrett. Harris picked up three steals while Thompson knocked down three buckets in about a five minute stretch, but by the under-8 media timeout it was just a 44-33 lead both teams struggled to make shots.
The Jayhawks would pick it up at that point, getting some nice plays by both McCormack and Garrett on the way to extending the lead to a 54-35 lead at the final media timeout. The Wildcats were both getting swarmed when they had the ball, and missing the few good looks they saw. Kansas only continued to dominate from there, and this ended up with an astonishingly brutal final score for the Wildcats, a 59-41 victory for KU. It actually looked worse before KSU finally hit two threes in the final minute to get over the 40 point mark.
No Jayhawks were great all the way through tonight. Wilson was held scoreless in the second to finish with 11 and nine rebounds. Garrett ended up with a game high 14 thanks to two late threes. No other Jayhawk scored in double digits, as the team shot just 4-16 from three (25%), while shooting 22-48 (47%) for the game.
Kansas improves to 16-7, 10-5 in Big 12 play. The easy stretch of their schedule is over and they face Texas in Austin on Saturday, with Texas Tech and Baylor looming next week.