Johnson's 20 Fuels K-State Past Kansas, 70-63


MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State finished the game on a 16-9 run over the final 8:30 to take down rival 8/9 Kansas, 70-63, on Monday night in front of a sellout crowd of 12,528 at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State (14-15, 7-9) held the lead after the first period of play, 31-30, despite trailing for 17:30 of the half and shooting 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field.

The Wildcats warmed up in the second half shooting 56 percent (14-of-25) from the field and knocking down 9-of-11 from the free throw stripe. Kansas (22-6, 11-4) was held to 36 percent (9-of-25) shooting after the break, including 0-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Nigel Johnson paced K-State off the bench, providing a career-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and four 3-pointers. Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson joined Johnson in double figures, adding 15 and 12 points, respectively.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 70, 8/9 Kansas 63
Records: Kansas State (14-15, 7-9 Big 12); 8/8 Kansas (22-6, 11-4 Big 12)
Attendance: 12,528 (paid)
Next Game: Saturday, Feb. 28 \\ vs. 12/13 Iowa State (20-6, 10-4 Big 12) \\ 3 p.m. CT \\ ESPN2

The Short Story
•    Kansas scored first and led for 17:30 of the first half, but the Wildcats took the advantage heading into the locker room at the break, 31-30.
•    K-State shot 56 percent (14-of-25) in the second half, the 18th time the Wildcats have a scored on 50- percent or more of attempts in a half this season. It was their most efficient half offensively since shooting 56 percent in the second half also against KU in Lawrence on Jan. 31, 2015.
•    The Jayhawks connected on 39.3 percent (22-of-56) of their shots in the game, but hit only 2-of-13 3-point field goals – their worst outing from deep since shooting 2-of-10 against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 14, 2014.
•    The Wildcat bench accounted for 30 of K-State’s 70 points, the most in a Big 12 contest this season and the best effort by a Wildcat bench since they racked up 41 against Georgia on Dec. 31, 2014.
•    Kansas won the battle in the paint, 38-32. Perry Ellis scored 18 in the lane on his way to tying a season-high with 24 points.
•    K-State scored 19 points on 13 Jayhawk turnovers while Kansas used 12 Wildcat miscues to score 9 points.
•    The game featured 11 lead changes and six ties – the last tie coming with 8:30 left to play.
•    N. Johnson scored a career-high 20 points for the Wildcats on 8-of-11 shooting and four 3-pointers. His previous high was 18 points against Southern Utah on Nov. 14, 2014.

How It Happened | First Half
•    Kansas’ Perry Ellis scored the first field goal of the game with a 3-pointer at the 19:05 mark to give the Jayhawks the early 3-0 lead.
•    Thomas Gipson scored six of K-State’s first 10 points, including a jumper with 14:46 left to play that gave the Wildcats their first lead of the night at 10-9.
•    The Jayhawks would score the next seven points, before K-State responded with a quick 6-0 run of its own to knot up the contest at 16 apiece with 10:01 to play in the first half.
•    Kansas, which led for 17:30 in the first half, again stretched the margin to a first half high of seven points with 5:21 to play.
•    K-State scored 12 of the half’s final 16 total points including two Nino Williams free throws with 1.2 seconds left to give the Wildcats the advantage heading into the locker room, 31-30.
•    K-State connected on 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field in the first half compared to Kansas’ 41.9 field goal percentage (13-of-31). The Wildcats scored 7-of-8 free throws
•    The Jayhawks outscored K-State in the paint 22-14, while the Wildcat bench held a 10-7 lead in the first half.
•    Kansas’s Ellis led all scorers with 15 points and Nigel Johnson paced the Wildcats with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including two 3-pointers.

How It Happened | Second Half
•    Kansas immediately regained the lead and built it up to a game-high eight points, 41-33, after a Kelly Oubre Jr. dunk with 16:30 left in the second half.
•    The Wildcats then used a 14-6 run off three Kansas turnovers to knot the game at 47-all after a Nigel Johnson 3-pointer with 11:24 to play.
•    Following a Perry Ellis layup with 10:11 to go, which would be his final field goal of the game, Johnson drilled another 3-pointer to tie the game at 52.
•    K-State turned it on for an 8-0 spurt while also holding the Jayhawks without a field goal for a span of 6:47.
•    A Nino Williams jumper with 29 seconds left in regulation proved to be the dagger, giving the Wildcats a 68-63 advantage. K-State would go on to tack on two points off free throws for the final tally of 70-63.
•    K-State connected on 56.0 percent (14-of-25) of field goals in the second half and drained 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Kansas scored 15-of-19 free throws but was limited to 36 percent (9-of-25) shooting including 0-of-8 from 3-point range.
•    The Wildcat bench outscored the Jayhawks 20-7 after intermission with Johnson leading the effort with 10 more points. Justin Edwards (6) and Stephen Hurt (4) also scored all of their respective points in the contest’s final 20.

Beyond the Boxscore
•    K-State’s second straight victory at home against Kansas marked the first successive home wins against the Jayhawks since 1983.
•    Kansas now leads the all-time series 188-93. The Wildcats have won four of the last eight matchups in Bramlage, but trail the overall series in Manhattan, 75-47.
•    The victory marked K-State’s 10th versus Top 25 teams the past two seasons, tying the team with Oklahoma and Connecticut for third-most nationally behind Iowa State (15) and Kansas (14).
•    K-State has won 13 of its last 18 home games against ranked opponents, including eight of the last 10 dating back to 2010.
•    K-State shot 56-percent from the field in the second half, the 18th time the Wildcats have shot 50-percent or better in a half this season. Their 84.2-percent (16-of-19) outing from the free throw line was their best effort since shooting 93.8-percent (15-of-16) at Iowa State on Jan. 20, 2015.

•    “Obviously after last week this is a huge win for our guys. I just asked them to forget about what happened before and not worry about what is going to happen in the future – just worry about today and be in the moment. I talked a lot about tonight’s game being special. Last year DJ (Johnson) and Will Spradling had special moments that helped us win. I had them watch some of the highlights before our shootaround today so they could see the crowd that came out on the big scoreboard. For me, it was emotional and I hope it was for them. I said they could have a special memory of their own, but we will have to fight and battle them,” said head coach Bruce Weber.

Up Next
•    K-State continues its 2-game homestand on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to 12/13 Iowa State (20-6, 10-4 Big 12) at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The Cyclones won the first meeting, 77-71, on Jan. 20 at Hilton. Coliseum. Tickets are available by calling the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221.CATS or online at