Wildcats Fall to No. 9 Kansas, 71-62

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State had the tempo much to its liking for most of the game, but in the end No. 9 Kansas just had too much for the Wildcats as the Jayhawks escaped Bramlage Coliseum 71-62 Monday night.

Cartier Martin scored 19 points and Clent Stewart added 11 for Kansas State (19-9, 8-5 Big 12), which led 30-29 at the break but quickly fell behind in the second half and never recovered.

It was the first loss of the season after leading at the break for the Wildcats, who also got 10 points from Lance Harris and nine each from David Hoskins and Akeem Wright.

Sherron Collins scored 20 points and Mario Chalmers chipped in with 17 for Kansas (24-4, 12-2 Big 12), which won its 24th in a row in Manhattan.

The Jayhawks scored the first five points of the second half on jumper by Julian Wright and a 3-pointer by Chalmers and never trailed again.

The Wildcats tied the game for the final time with 11:12 to go when Harris connected on the third of three straight K-State triples to knot the game at 43-43.

But Collins answered with a trey of his own and Darrell Arthur netted a pair of free throws to put Kansas back on top by five.

A 7-0 run by the Jayhawks gave KU its largest lead of the game at 59-57 with 5:39 to go. The Wildcats got within six on a layup by Stewart with 37 seconds remaining that made it 68-62, but could not score again.

Four ties and six lead changes highlighted a frenetic first half that saw neither team lead by more than five points.

Each team’s largest lead of the half came in the first 10 minutes. The final tie came at the 4:19 mark on a free throw by KU’s Arthur.

A layup by Stewart and a jumper by Wright in the final two minutes gave the Wildcats a 30-26 edge. The Jayhawks sliced it to one just before intermission, when Collins drained a triple from the top of the key with 13.9 seconds to go making it 20-29 Cats at the break.

Kansas State returns to the road on Saturday, Feb. 24, when the Wildcats take on Colorado in Boulder. The game is slated for a 3 p.m. (CST) start and will be televised on ESPN+Plus.