Ben McLemore celebrated his 20th birthday by pouring in 30 points and Jeff Withey added 17 points and tied the Big 12 record for blocks as 14th-ranked Kansas used a strong first half to pull away from 10th-ranked Kansas State for an 83-62 victory Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
K-State whose only lead of the game was 2-0 tied the game at 7-7 on a three-point basket by Will Spradling but after that KU fashioned a 16-10 lead. From there the Jayhawks who snapped a rare three-game losing streak went on a 12-3 run capped by a McLemore three-pointer. The Jayhwaks led 47-29 at halftime and quickly extended the lead to 52-29 early in the second half before Angel Rodriguez got hot and triggered a 14-6 K-State run to pull the Wildcats to within 58-43. After that KU got back on track and was able to maintain a sizable lead in front of raucous and approving sellout crowd.
Kansas State (19-5, 8-3) which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end was led by Rodney McGruder’s 20 points and 17 from Rodriguez while Spradling chipped in with 10. Kansas (20-4, 8-3) had four players in double figures. Joining McLemore and Withey in that column were Kevin Young with 13 points while Nadir Tharpe came off the bench with 10 points.
K-State will next be in action on Saturday when Baylor comes to Bramlage Coliseum. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m.
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