Wildcats Edged by Jayhawks in Sunflower Showdown

Shane Southwell

Jan. 22, 2013

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Shane Southwell scored a career-high 19 points, including a 5-for-11 performance from beyond the arc, but it was not enough to hold off defending Big 12 Champion, Kansas, as the Jayhawks knocked off the Wildcats, 59-55, before a sold-out crowd at Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Despite a frigid night from beyond the arc, No. 11 K-State (15-3, 4-1 Big 12) was able to trade blows with No. 3 KU (17-1, 5-0 Big 12) as the Wildcats matched scoring runs with the in-state rival throughout the first half of the contest. Kansas jumped out to a 16-8 lead at the 11:28 mark but a Martavious Irving jumper followed by four straight points from sophomore guard Angel Rodriquez brought the Wildcats within four points with just over eight minutes remaining in the opening half. The sophomore from Puerto Rico was a major factor for the Wildcats as he scored all 12 of his points in the first. A mid-range jumper by senior Jordan Henriquez and a fast-break 3-pointer from Southwell capped a 9-0 scoring run for the Wildcats.

Kansas answered with a 9-2 run that included four points from freshman Perry Ellis, to bring the Jayhawks back in front, 27-22, with just over two minutes left until halftime. K-State responded in the form of a thunderous dunk from reining Big 12 Player of the Week, Rodney McGruder, his first points of the of the game.

After another Southwell 3-pointer, Kansas State was set to go into the halftime break only down two, but KU forward Kevin Young was able to corral an offensive rebound and hit a contested layup with three ticks on the clock to give momentum back to the Jayhawks at the half up 31-27.

Kansas opened up the second half on a 9-2 run before K-State’s McGruder was able to knock down his first 3-pointer of the contest at the 15:57 mark bringing the Wildcats within six points.

After back and forth action midway through the final minutes of the game, freshman Ben McLemore heated up, knocking down seven of KU’s 11 final points. Southwell banked in a driving, fast-break layup to cut the Kansas lead to three points, 56-53, with 37 seconds remaining but with no timeouts left, the Wildcats were forced to foul. Two free throws from Naadir Tharpe and one from Elijah Johnson, sealed the game for the Jayhawks.

K-State will be back in action on Saturday, January 26, as they head to Ames, Iowa, to face the Iowa State Cyclones. The contest is set for a 12:30 tipoff from Hilton Coliseum. The game can be seen on the Big 12 Network.