Jayhawks and Wildcats square off in pivotal Big 12 clash
Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) – Kansas hopes to extend its winning streak
to five games as it battles long-time rival Kansas State in Big 12
Conference action from Manhattan.
The fourth consecutive win for KU came on Saturday by a score of 92-39 over
Nebraska, and all four wins during the current run have come by 18
or more points. At 10-2 in league play, the Jayhawks are tied with Texas A&M
for first place in the Big 12 with just two weeks to go in the regular season.
Kansas State is fourth in the league with an 8-4 record, and the 19-8 overall
mark has the club in outstanding position to claim an NCAA Tournament bid. On
Saturday, the Wildcats put forth an outstanding defensive effort in a 65-47
romp over Iowa State. They are 12-1 at home this season and figure to play with
Still, Kansas crushed Kansas State in a 97-70 final just a couple of weeks
ago, and the Jayhawks own a commanding 172-89 lead in the all-time series.
Kansas does not rely on one or two players to carry the load at the offensive
end. Rather, the squad has a number of talented performers, and five players
scored in double figures in the romp over Nebraska on Saturday. Brandon Rush
and Darrell Arthur both scored 13 points against the Cornhuskers, and Sherron
Collins added 12 points. Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers pitched in 10 points
apiece for Kansas, which shot 58.3 percent from the floor and limited Nebraska
to 31.4 percent. The Jayhawks finished with 25 assists against only seven
turnovers, and they earned a 42-24 rebounding advantage as well. Rush is
averaging 13.4 ppg on 40.7 percent shooting from three-point range, and
Chalmers is netting 11.2 ppg. Arthur (11.0 ppg) and Wright (10.7 ppg) add
further balance for Kansas, which is scoring 76.6 ppg while surrendering only
59.9 ppg on 37.6 percent shooting by opponents.
Cartier Martin is the leading scorer for Kansas State, as he is netting 16.0
ppg. David Hoskins checks in with 14.5 ppg, and Lance Harris adds 10.6 ppg to
the mix. The Wildcats are scoring 71.3 ppg as a team while limiting opponents
to just 64.9 ppg. While K-State is shooting a lackluster 32.4 percent from
three-point range, the squad is holding foes to a mere 28.2 percent accuracy
from behind the arc. Hoskins scored 20 points for the Wildcats in the easy
victory over Iowa State last time out. Martin tallied 17 points off the bench,
and Harris finished with 13 points. Clearly, strong defense was key to the win,
as the Wildcats held the Cyclones to 47 points on 34.7 percent shooting from
the field. A 38-24 rebounding advantage also helped matters.