Kansas State University

Foul trouble adds up for Kansas State in loss at No. 7 Kansas

KU’s Frank Mason (middle) found himself in a tight spot after being trapped by Kansas State’s D. J. Johnson (left) and Carble Ervin in the first half of Wednesday night’s Sunflower Showdown game at Allen Fieldhouse.
KU’s Frank Mason (middle) found himself in a tight spot after being trapped by Kansas State’s D. J. Johnson (left) and Carble Ervin in the first half of Wednesday night’s Sunflower Showdown game at Allen Fieldhouse. rsugg@kcstar.com

At least this one followed a different script.

Unlike many of Kansas State’s previous losses to Kansas inside Allen Fieldhouse, the Wildcats didn’t fall hopelessly behind and struggle to fight back. On Tuesday, K-State lost 77-59 in an entirely different way.

This time, the Wildcats threw an early scare into the home team, opening with a 16-7 run. K-State coach Bruce Weber talked about the importance of starting strong in front of 16,300 fans, and his players delivered. For the first time since 2006, victory appeared attainable in Lawrence.

“I thought we had a great game plan,” Weber said. “The kids bought in and we defend will early. Our first two possessions were as good as we have had all year.”

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Things were going so well that Wesley Iwundu and Austin Budke, players not known for their outside shooting, both drained threes. Stephen Hurt and Dean Wade both made jumpers. D.J. Johnson made two difficult shots near the basket.

Kansas coach Bill Self called a timeout with 11:45 remaining in the first half in an effort to halt K-State’s momentum, up 14-7. When the game resumed, Barry Brown hit a runner to extend the lead.

K-State’s bench went bonkers.

“I will be honest,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I thought they outplayed us. They definitely bullied us on the glass and played much tougher.”

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But things unraveled quickly from there. K-State went from up 16-7 to down 39-29 in the final 11 minutes of the first half. They briefly battled back to as close as 47-45 in the second, displaying the toughness and poise Weber likes about this group, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.

Iwundu led the charge with 15 points. Hurt had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Wildcats (13-9, 2-7 Big12) lost control for several reasons. Chief among them were fouls. Bruce Weber used nine players in the first half, and all nine committed at least one foul. The team had 15 at intermission, many of which resulted in easy points for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3).

“They were crucial calls,” Weber said.

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The fouls began to mount, ironically, when Weber inserted Brian Rohleder strictly for defensive purposes. His job was to keep other players out of foul trouble, but he was whistled for three fouls in three minutes of action.

Kansas converted two free throws on his first foul, picked up three points on his second and got four on his third, a critical foul against KU sharpshooter Brannen Greene at the end of the first half. Greene swished a three-pointer through contact, then stepped to the free-throw line and made it a four-point play.

Johnson went on to foul out with 6:42 left in the second half. The team committed 27 fouls.

University of Kansas head coach Bill Self offered an apology for the dunk at the end of the game and said this is the most soft the team has played all season during post game comment after KU beat K-State 77-59 in Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, F

“It’s a road game and that is what is expected,” Iwundu said. “I just told the guys to keep their heads and keep their composure. That’s what you have to do on the road, especially Allen Fieldhouse. It’s a tough place to play.”

Weber was irate with the calls, at one point walking across the court to challenge an official following a turnover by Hurt. He appeared on his way to a technical foul, but the officials let K-State off with a bench warning.

“You come here, you can get mad,” Weber said. “I tried to keep my poise and for 16 minutes I told the officials I didn’t say a word to them, but it gets to a point. I can’t let the kids get frustrated. You have got to fight through it and be tougher than that.”

Kansas also switched to a zone defense, which made it harder for K-State to score and hold onto the ball. The Wildcats lost 23 turnovers.

Without starting point guard Kamau Stokes — out with an injured right knee — K-State lacked the shooters necessary to take advantage. That combination led to a 32-13 run for the Jayhawks and insurmountable momentum after the Wildcats appeared to be in control.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett

No. 7 KANSAS 77

KANSAS STATE 59

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

K-State

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Wade

26

2-3

1-2

0-2

0

4

5

Hurt

28

6-13

2-4

4-11

0

2

14

Ervin II

21

0-6

0-0

2-3

3

4

0

Edwards

31

1-9

0-1

2-6

1

2

2

Iwundu

37

5-7

4-4

0-5

5

2

15

Brown

28

4-10

0-1

0-2

2

2

11

Budke

13

1-1

0-0

1-1

1

3

3

Johnson

12

3-4

3-4

2-4

0

5

9

Rohleder

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

3

0

Winter

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

TEAM

   

2-2

   

Totals

200

22-53

10-16

13-36

12

27

59

Percentages: FG .415, FT .625. Three-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Brown 3-7, Budke 1-1, Iwundu 1-2, Ervin II 0-1, Edwards 0-3, Hurt 0-4). Blocked Shots: 1 (Hurt). Turnovers: 23 (Iwundu 6, Hurt 4, Edwards 3, Brown 3, Johnson 2, Ervin II 2, team 2, Budke). Steals: 7 (Brown 2, Edwards, Ervin II, Iwundu, Hurt, Johnson). Technical Fouls: Edwards, Hurt. Fouled Out: Johnson.

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

Kansas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Lucas

25

2-3

4-5

1-6

1

5

8

Ellis

34

8-11

0-0

1-5

0

2

19

Mason III

31

1-5

6-9

0-1

4

2

8

Selden Jr.

24

3-9

0-1

0-0

2

2

7

Graham

39

4-9

1-1

0-3

4

2

10

Mykhailiuk

21

4-7

1-1

0-1

4

3

10

Traylor

13

1-1

3-4

0-4

0

1

5

Greene

6

3-3

1-1

0-0

0

0

8

Bragg Jr.

5

1-1

0-0

0-0

0

1

2

Diallo

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

TEAM

   

0-1

   

Totals

200

27-49

16-22

2-21

15

18

77

Percentages: FG .551, FT .727. Three-Point Goals: 7-18, .389 (Ellis 3-3, Greene 1-1, Graham 1-4, Mykhailiuk 1-4, Selden Jr. 1-5, Mason III 0-1). Blocked Shots: 4 (Traylor 2, Bragg Jr., Lucas). Turnovers: 16 (Ellis 4, Selden Jr. 3, Mason III 2, Graham 2, Traylor, Mykhailiuk, Bragg Jr., Lucas, team). Steals: 10 (Graham 3, Mykhailiuk 3, Ellis 2, Traylor, Selden Jr.). Technical Fouls: Lucas. Fouled Out: Lucas.

Half: Kansas 39-29. Attendance: 16,300. Officials: Ray Natili, Keith Kimble, Ron Groover.

AP-WF-02-04-16 0437GMT

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