Wildcats fall to Kansas in Big 12 Tournament

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Senior guard Justin Edwards rests after the loss to the University of Kansas on February 21, 2016, inside Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats fell to the Jayhawks 72-63 after a brawl for a third consecutive home win. (File Photo by Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

The Kansas Jayhawks put on a clinic in an 85-63 win over the K-State Wildcats in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament Thursday afternoon in Kansas City, Missouri.

“They played at a very high level today,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. “It’s hard to come back and play well today after last night. This has been a fun group to coach.”

The Jayhawks shot 57 percent in the winning effort and dominated the majority of the game.

“They made shots and they play together,” Weber said. “They are No. 1 for a reason.”

Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis started the scoring in the first half with a 2-pointer, but K-State senior guard Justin Edwards hit a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats’ the lead, which would be their only lead of the game.

Kansas went on an 8-0 run to lead 10-3 at the under-16 minute timeout.

The Jayhawks had a response almost every time K-State tried to make a run.

The Wildcats used an 8-0 run after trailing 23-11 to get back within four points.

Kansas responded, though, scoring eight of the next 10 points and regaining a double-digit lead at 31-21.

The Jayhawks shot exceptionally well in the first half, shooting 59 percent and downing four 3-pointers.

The Wildcats went into the halftime break down 45-30 after shooting 41 percent in the half. The Jayhawks had 12 second-chance points compared to only two from K-State.

Kansas scored the first four points out of the halftime break to lead by 19, but a 3-pointer by freshman forward Dean Wade cut the deficit to 16.

With the score at 53-37, Kansas sophomore guard Devonte Graham found Ellis for an alley-oop, but Edwards came down and hit a 3-pointer to get back within 15.

This would be as close as the Wildcats would get, however, as they fell 85-63.

Kansas freshman forward Carlton Bragg had 12 points off the bench while Jayhawk sophomore guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk provided two big 3-pointers in the second half.

Edwards had a memorable final game in the Sprint Center with 23 points and five 3-pointers. Ellis led the Jayhawks with 21 points in the contest, and junior guard Frank Mason had 16.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Weber said. “But it’s disappointing we couldn’t give them a better game today.”

The Wildcats will now play the waiting game to see if they qualify for the National Invitational Tournament.

“I believe we deserve to be in the NIT,” Weber said. “We’ve played a very good schedule and competed with everyone, but we will just have to wait and see.”

Kansas advances to the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament and will face Baylor at 6 p.m. tonight.

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