National Basketball Association
Kansas 81, Kansas State 60
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
# John Higgins, # Bert Smith, # Keith Kimbell
Freshman guard Christian Braun came off the bench to net a career-high 20 points Tuesday as the No. 3 Jayhawks destroyed Kansas State 81-60 at Lawrence, Kan., in a game that will be remembered for a brawl that took place in the closing seconds.
With the Jayhawks up 81-59 and Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa dribbling out the clock, Kansas State's DaJuan Gordon stole the ball and went in for a buzzer-beating layup. However, De Sousa got back, blocked the shot and sent Gordon to the floor. De Sousa then stood over Gordon and appeared to talk-trash, leading to what became a benches-clearing scrum.
Punches appeared to be thrown, and at one point De Sousa picked up a folding chair and held it over his head as players and coaches ran around in chaos behind the baseline. But an assistant coach grabbed the chair before De Sousa could use it.
Once coaches and security separated the players, all but the five players on the floor for each team at the time of the brawl were ejected and De Sousa was assessed a technical. Officials put one-tenth of a second back on the clock and summoned the 10 players still in the game back to the court from the locker room to allow Kansas State shoot free throws, accounting for the game's final points.
"Well, obviously it's an embarrassment," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said after the game. "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."
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber told reporters he was actually shaking hands with Kansas players and coaches when the brawl began. Though he said he did not see the play that sparked the brawl, he seemed to attribute the start to Gordon's steal and attempted score as Kansas tried to run out the time.
"It's disappointing it ended that way," he said, before later adding, "You win with class, you lose with class. Disappointing anything can happen at the end."
"It's my guys. It's my fault," Weber added. "You wish it would've ended a little different. It's sad."
Braun contributed 11 points in the first half, then started the second half and logged 29 total minutes as Self quickly converted to a small lineup alongside 7-footer Udoka Azubuike.
The senior center recorded his seventh double-double with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Point guard Devon Dotson added 18 points as the Jayhawks (15-3, 5-1 Big 12) claimed their 14th consecutive home win over the Wildcats (8-10, 1-5).
After moving up three spots in the polls Monday, the Jayhawks remained within one game of No. 1 Baylor atop the Big 12. The Bears' win at Kansas on Jan. 11 was the only time in the last nine games an opponent scored at least 60 points against the Jayhawks.
Kansas State trailed by 16 at halftime then gave up the first eight points of the second half. But the Wildcats showed some life with a subsequent 13-2 run early in the second half to pull within 13 at 49-36 with 14:07 left. David Sloan, who led the Wildcats with 17 points, keyed that surge with three buckets off impressive drives.
The Wildcats, however, could not sustain their charge, taking their fifth defeat in six games. Their lone win in that stretch was a startling home blowout of then-No. 12 West Virginia on Saturday.
The Jayhawks used a 19-2 surge built off unanswered runs of nine and 10 points to gain a 26-9 lead before the midway point of the first half.
They went on to enjoy a 39-23 halftime margin behind Braun, who ended the night 6 of 10 from 3-point range while triggering a 37-9 advantage in bench points.
Dotson sat eight minutes of the first half with two fouls, which also enabled him to rest his ailing hip. He still contributed seven first-half points to help fuel the early getaway.
Mike McGuirl, who drew 15 straight starts to begin the season for Kansas State, missed his third consecutive game while dealing with a concussion.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
David Sloan 17
Christian Braun 20
David Sloan 5
Marcus Garrett 5
Cartier Diarra 6
Udoka Azubuike 14
Xavier Sneed 3
||Free Throws Made
Devon Dotson 5
Cartier Diarra 2
Devon Dotson 3
Antonio Gordon 1
Udoka Azubuike 4
Team Stats Summary