Ellis helps No. 7 Kansas pull away from Kansas State, 77-59
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kansas coach Bill Self was only slightly happier Wednesday night than Kansas State counterpart Bruce Weber, and the only reason for that was his seventh-ranked Jayhawks had won.
“I’ll be candid,” Self said after the 77-59 victory, “they outplayed us. They beat us to loose balls, they outhustled us. ... That’s about as soft as I can remember one of our teams playing.”
Perry Ellis scored 19 points, and Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte Graham added 10 points apiece, to bail out the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) on a night they were dominated on the glass.
Kansas managed two offensive rebounds while getting outrebounded 36-21 by an undersized opponent.
“It wasn’t a well-played game on our part at all,” Self said. “But I think K-State, they came ready to play. I thought their defense was really, really good. I think they shrunk the floor on ball screens, they control the glass. ... For some reason we were still ahead.”
That reason was probably the Wildcats’ 23 turnovers.
“One of the things I put on the board was, `Make simple basketball plays,”’ Weber said. “We try to do too much sometimes and don’t let the game come to us.”
Stephen Hurt had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats, who have not won at Kansas since 2006 - three coaches ago. Wesley Iwundu added 15 points but also had six turnovers.
“Coach said, `You can’t let offense determine defense,’ and that happened to us,” Iwundu said.
Not in the first 15 minutes. That part of the game belonged to Kansas State, which clogged the lane and forced a handful of early turnovers of its own to take an early 18-10 lead.
“We can’t do that,” Graham said. “We have to come out and know everyone is coming after our heads.”
Eventually, Ellis and Mykhailiuk knocked down 3s to help start a first-half run, and Frank Mason III countered his balky shot with some hustle that created plays for others. After one hard landing, the guard got up to find the white sleeve covering his right calf and knee soaked through with blood.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats slowly began to lose their composure.
After Mason’s basket with 12 seconds to go, Hurt turned the ball over on the inbounds play, sending Weber into an uproar. He stormed across the court after one of the officials and appeared to be close to getting a technical foul before assistants reined him in.
“I tried to keep my poise. And for 16 minutes, I told the official, I kept it to myself,” Weber said. “You have to fight through it and be tougher than that.”
Then again, Weber wasn’t any happier when Brannen Greene knocked down a 3-pointer and was fouled, converting a rare four-point play with 2 seconds left that gave Kansas a 39-29 lead.
Kansas State trimmed its deficit to 47-45 on a basket by D.J. Johnson with just under 12 minutes to go, but Wayne Selden III answered with a 3 from the wing and a layup off an alley-oop pass.
That kicked off one more big run that allowed the Jayhawks to seize control of the game.
“It was amazing to me, we were up 10 at the half and I felt like it was a tie,” Self said. “It was one of those games, I looked up and I was surprised we had the lead.”
Kansas State guard Kamau Stokes will have surgery on his right knee Thursday. He was hurt in last Saturday’s win over Mississippi. “He’ll probably be out for a while,” Weber said without giving details on the nature of the surgery. “It’s a miracle that he could come back (this season).”
Kansas State: Johnson had nine points before fouling out. He played 12 minutes. ... The Wildcats finished with a 36-21 rebounding advantage. ... Kansas State is 1-6 in road games.
Kansas: C Hunter Mickelson did not play while dealing with a high ankle sprain. ... Landen Lucas, who fouled out, had eight points and six rebounds. ... Kansas was 16 of 22 from the free throw line.
Kansas State plays No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Kansas visits TCU on Saturday.