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Jayhawks go Wild on the Cats

Kansas solidifies their lead in the Big 12 with a closer-than-necessary win over the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

It started out ugly, with fouls abound and stout defense.  And don't forget poor free throw shooting by the Jayhawks.  Landen Lucas was fouled twice quickly to start the game, but missed one in each set.  Kansas State built a small lead early, but the two teams basically played to a draw until about the 6 minute mark of the first half.  At that point, Kansas decided to start playing defense, and Kansas State quickly got rattled.  Unforced errors led to big KU buckets, and the Jayhawks went on an 18-4 run to go from 4 down to 10 up at the half.

Coming out of half-time, it looked like the Jayhawks were going to run away with it, as they held a double digit lead through the under 8 timeout.  But poor offense, a sudden inability to close out on defense, and atrocious free throw shooting allowed the Wildcats to claw their way back into the game.

Devonte' Graham was having a terrible day at 0-5 from the floor, but he was able to seal the win by scoring 6 straight points (including 4 huge free throws) after the lead had been cut to 3 to push the game back out of reach at 71-63.

This was an extremely physical game, with both Landen Lucas and Jamari Traylor fouling out and Frank Mason finishing with 4 fouls, but Kansas still shot 50% from 2 and 33.3% from 3.  The main issue this game was the 60% foul shooting (which would have been only 54% without the 5-6 shooting in the last minute and a half).  This team really needs to work on foul shooting.

It's onward in the Big 12, with the Jayhawks traveling to Waco, TX to take on Baylor, one of 3 teams that are two game back. They meet Tuesday at 7pm Jayhawk time, on ESPN2