Kansas Jayhawks win Sunflower Showdown beatdown over Kansas State Wildcats 90-68

The Kansas Jayhawks exacted some revenge over their in-state rivals on Tuesday night, cruising past the Kansas State Wildcats 90-68 on senior night in Lawrence.

With the win, the 14th-ranked Jayhawks have now won 41 consecutive senior-night games and have beaten the Wildcats at home 18 years in a row. This one meant a little more to KU, too, after K-State won the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season.

“I saw how excited they were after they beat us, and I think that definitely stuck with us,” Kansas senior center Hunter Dickinson said. “Everybody pitched in, everybody played really well.

The second half, in particular, was dominated by Kansas. The Jayhawks outscored the Wildcats by 14 in the latter 20 minutes after going into the break up by eight, and shot 50% from the floor and 55.6% from three-point range in the second half.

It wasn’t a perfect game by any means for Kansas, which shot just 11-of-28 on layups in the game, but it was still more than enough for the Jayhawks to bounce back after consecutive losses to the BYU Cougars and Baylor Bears.

“We missed probably 12 layups. You make eight of those it’s a totally different situation,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “But I thought we actually got the ball exactly where we wanted to get it.”

Dickinson posted his 15th double-double of the year in the victory, tallying 15 points and 20 rebounds along with five blocks, tying a career high. Senior guard Kevin McCullar poured in a game-high 19 points on Tuesday, but it was fellow senior Nicolas Timberlake who was the game’s breakout star.

He went for 18 points and made four three pointers, both of which are season highs. Timberlake said there would have been no better way to end his time at Allen Fieldhouse.

“It’s definitely not the year I dreamed of coming here, but to have that happen tonight felt great,” Timberlake said.

Kansas State struggled offensively for much of the night. The Wildcats finished the game shooting 44.6% from the floor, but that number sat at 38.8% before making six of their final seven shots with the game out of reach. K-State actually recorded its fewest turnovers in a single game in Big 12 play with just 11, but other fundamental areas were a struggle, including free throw shooting, where the Wildcats went just 10-of-21 for the game.

Senior guard Tylor Perry and junior guard Cam Carter, in particular, had challenging nights. Perry didn’t make a single field goal and finished with just two points, while Carter scored three points and made just one shot from the floor.

“At our place, I don’t think the attention to T.P. was as focused as it was this game,” K-State coach Jerome Tang said.

Tang was also blunt about why he thought his team lost.

“The effort is the thing that held us back tonight,” Tang said.

Senior center Will McNair was the Wildcats’ leading scorer, recording his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Jayhawks are now 10-7 in Big 12 play this season with one game to go, a road trip to face the Houston Cougars on Saturday. Self, as he has been throughout the season, is still optimistic about KU’s potential when its fully healthy.

“When we’re healthy, we can be kind of tough to deal with,” Self said. “We just haven’t been healthy.”

As for Kansas State, the Wildcats’ NCAA tournament hopes are in peril with only one regular-season game left. K-State will host the Iowa State Cyclones this weekend, and after Tuesday’s game Tang focused on what opportunities are still on the table for his program.

“Go win at home, that’s what we do,” Tang said. “We’ve got to have a greater care factor because we’re in our building … There’s a lot of basketball left in the season.”

For more on the Kansas Jayhawks’ 90-68 win over the Kansas State Wildcats, check out 580 Sports Talk weekday afternoons from 2-6 on 580 WIBW.