ANALYSIS: In Sunflower throwdown, guard play was difference in blowout loss

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During the Sunflower Throwdown on Tuesday night in Lawrence, sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa was issued a technical for his contributions to the fight that broke out on the floor with just seconds to spare. The Jayhawks beat the Wildcat, 81-60. (Luis Villarreal-Reyes | Collegian Media Group)

The big blowout in Lawrence wasn’t what people were talking about last night following the Sunflower Showdown. Kansas might have extended their home winning-streak against Kansas State’s men’s basketball team to 14, and they might have shut down the Wildcats, 81-60.

But it’s the extreme final seconds on the court that had social media — and everyone else for that matter — buzzing last night.

K-State freshman guard DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from Kansas sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa. And as Gordon ran down to the other end of the court to finish a layup, he was blocked from behind by De Sousa. All of this is fairly normal.

But the block turned into a taunting act from De Sousa as he stepped over Gordon, who was on the ground. It all quickly devolved into a bench clearing brawl where both teams — and both coaches — got caught up in the kerfuffle somehow.

All players except the ten on the court at the time of the fight were ejected, and De Sousa was given a technical foul for taunting.

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Head coach Bruce Weber talks with the reporters after the tough loss at Allen Fieldhouse against Kansas on Jan. 21, 2020. He did not discuss in detail the brawl that broke out on the court (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

No major comments were made by either head coach, only explaining that each teams’ actions were disappointing.

In terms of the actual basketball game, a combination of 11 first half turnovers for the Wildcats, and seven steals for the Jayhawks resulted in a half time score of 39-23 with Kansas ahead.

K-State had balanced scoring in the first half with senior forward Makol Mawien leading the Wildcats with eight points and five rebounds

The Wildcats shot 40 percent from the field in the first half despite being down 16.

Kansas freshman guard Christian Braun was responsible for the Jayhawks first half push, building the momentum for a large first half lead for Kansas.

Braun scored 11 of his career-high 20 points in the first half, knocking down three timely shots from behind the arc. For a player who only played four minutes and scored zero points in Kansas’s last matchup at Texas, Braun was definitely the spark for this Kansas team in tonight’s efforts.

The difference in guard play is what stood out to be the biggest difference in tonight’s contest. The Kansas guards outscored the K-State guards 69-30.

After three or so minutes ran off the clock to start the second half, K-State junior transfer guard David Sloan started to assert his dominance. Sloan had two quick three-point shots, which brought the Wildcats within 13, trailing 49-36.

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Junior guard David Sloan dunks the ball during the game against Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 21, 2020. The Wildcats fell to the Jayhawks with a final score of 81-60. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

Sloan would finish the game with a team best of 17 points and five assists on the night.

Mawien and senior forward Xavier Sneed also finished in double figures with 11 and 16 points respectively.

K-State moves to 8-10 on the year and 1-5 in Big 12 play.

The Wildcats will take the court next Saturday Jan. 25 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tune in to ESPN2 at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

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