Jan 22, 2020 3:21 AM

No. 6 KU defeats K-State 81-60 as brawl breaks out at end of game

Posted Jan 22, 2020 3:21 AM

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Third-ranked Kansas and Kansas State ended their bitter showdown Tuesday night with a wild melee behind the basket that included punches, shoving and at least one player picking up a stool, moments after the Jayhawks tried to dribble out the time on their 81-60 victory.

Silvio De Sousa was stripped by the Wildcats' DaJuan Gordon near midcourt and Gordon tried to go in for a layup. The Jayhawks' big man recovered and blocked his shot, sending Gordon to the floor, then stood over him barking. That triggered benches to empty and punches to be thrown in what amounted to a rugby scrum. At one point, De Souza picked up a stool and held it above his head before assistant coach Jerrance Howard grabbed it from him.

It took both coaching staffs and security to separate the teams. Then, adding to the bizarre finish, both teams were summoned back from the locker rooms by officials and one-tenth of a second was put on the clock. Kansas State shot technical free throws to booing from a few thousand fans left -- necessitating a change to the final score.

"Well, obviously it's an embarrassment," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. "It's not something to be proud of. What happened showed zero signs of toughness. It's a sign of immaturity and selfishness more so than toughness."

Christian Braun scored a career-high 20 points, Devon Dotson added 18 and Udoka Azubuike finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas, which beat the Wildcats for the 14th straight time at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks, who lost to Baylor 10 days ago, also avoided back-to-back home defeats for the first time since 1988-89.

Xavier Sneed had 16 points and David Sloan had 14 for the Wildcats (8-10, 1-5), who continue to struggle on the road. They have lost all three league contests away from Bramlage Coliseum after going 7-2 in those games a year ago, when they tied Texas Tech for the Big 12 title -- ending the Jayhawks' record-setting run of 14 consecutive championships.

The Jayhawks built a comfortable 39-23 lead by the break, and all of it -- and then some -- came during that soul-crushing 19-2 run midway through the first half that torpedoed just about any chance of an upset.

It began when Braun hit the first of what would become three 3-pointers by the freshman during the charge. It continued when the Jayhawks forced the Wildcats into a series of blown layups and easy misses, a pair of missed free throws, a shot clock violation and five turnovers that left coach Bruce Weber stamping his feet in frustration.

The run ended -- fittingly -- with Braun hitting another 3, giving the Jayhawks a 26-9 lead with less than 10 minutes left.

Braun, who played a mere 4 minutes last weekend at Texas, hit another from beyond the arc as the shot clock wound down to star the second half, and Kansas more than doubled up its biggest rival at 47-23 before the Wildcats showed some life.

Sloan started their own run with an easy basket, then he followed one by Sneed with two more. Cartier Diarra answered the fans that'd been heckling him all night from an early air-ball by adding a layup, and Gordon's 3-pointer capped a 13-2 run that got Kansas State withing 49-36 with about 14 minutes left in the game.

Braun answered with another 3 during another big run that allowed the Jayhawks to put the game away.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State was playing its third consecutive ranked opponent, and should have come in with some momentum after an easy win over then-No. 12 West Virginia. But after hanging with the Jayhawks the first few minutes, sloppy play and their inability to convert layups at the rim allowed Kansas to go on the run that defined the game.

Kansas didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but the Jayhawks dominated the glass, kept turnovers to a minimum and played one of their better defensive games all season.

UP NEXT

Kansas State heads to Alabama on Saturday for the Big 12-SEC Challenge.

Kansas welcomes back ex-Texas coach Rick Barnes with Tennessee on Saturday.

--- Associated Press ---

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Jan 22, 2020 3:21 AM
Griffons' Cunningham named MIAA Women's Player of the Week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After an outstanding performance in Missouri Western's rout at Northwest Missouri State last Saturday, Corbyn Cunningham has been named the MIAA Women's Basketball Athlete of the Week.

The junior forward from Albuquerque, New Mexico scored 21 points with 10 rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes at Northwest. Cunningham was 10 of 16 from the field, shooting 62.5% in the 71-53 victory. Her assist total led the team and was a career-high while she was two points shy of matching her career scoring high. It was Cunningham's fourth double-double of the season and her third consecutive double digit rebounding performance.

On the season, Cunningham ranks third in the MIAA in field goal percentage, shooting 55.2%. She ranks seventh, averaging 7.8 rebounds per game and 10th in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game. Cunningham became the second Griffon Women's Basketball student-athlete to receive the honor this season, joining Chris Wilson.

Cunningham and the Griffons return to the MWSU Fieldhouse this week to host Fort Hays State on Thursday and Nebraska Kearney on Saturday.

--- MWSU Athletics ---