The storylines of career nights was overshadowed in the first installment of this season’s Sunflower Showdown. The main story out of Allen Fieldhouse wasn’t the blowout victory for the Jayhawks, but the bench-clearing fight.
The men’s basketball team had some momentum going into the Dillon’s Sunflower Showdown on Tuesday night in Lawrence after Saturday’s upset win over No. 12 West Virginia 84-68.
After starting out the game at 7-7, the Jayhawks took away what life Kansas State was trying to hold on to in the 80-61 dominating win.
K-State (8-10, 1-5 Big 12) went on a 14-3 run with 17:00 left in the second half. This run by the Wildcats was followed by 16 of the next 20 points scored coming from Kansas.
With 4:30 left in the first half, senior guard Xavier Sneed made a three to cut the deficit to 30-16. A turnover by freshman forward Montavious Murphy sent junior guard Marcus Garrett to the line where Garret missed the shot, but the Jayhawks rebounded for a layup.
With 1:16 until halftime, senior forward Makol Mawien made a dunk on an assist from Sneed followed by a timeout from Kansas. The Wildcats went into halftime down, 39-23.
Junior guard David Sloan was the bright spot for K-State with a season-high of 17 points on seven made field goals and two from beyond the arc. Senior guard Xavier Sneed contributed 16 points, shooting 5-12 from the field and making 3-8 three-pointers.
Kansas (15-3, 5-1) got to the line 17 times and made 12 of those shots. The Jayhawks were 46.2 percent from the field and 34.6 from three point range. Freshman guard Christian Braun for the Jayhawks had a career-high 20 points.
Kansas went on a 19-2 run, scoring 14 of those points off of seven turnovers by K-State. Turnovers are something that’s plagued the Wildcats all season and followed them to Lawrence, on Tuesday night. The Jayhawks scored 40 of their 80 points in the paint, and 20 from six turnovers by the Wildcats.
In the first half, Braun had 11 points for the Jayhawks.
After the fight on the floor in Allen Fieldhouse, the benches for both teams were ejected and a technical foul was handed down to Silvio De Sousa. The fight began with De Sousa’s mocking step over K-State’s freshman guard DaJuan Gordon who was on the ground after De Sousa blocked his last-minute shot.
Senior forward Pierson McAtee shot two free-throws after the technical, making one and the final score of the game 80-61. The only comments that either head coach made after the fact was that they needed to look at the video and see what exactly happened. The emphasis was on how the behavior was embarrassing and should never happen.
The fight lasted no longer than a minute, but could have severe consequences for players involved on both sides of the Sunflower Showdown. Announcements are expected to come with information about punishments for both teams. This is a developing story, the Collegian will provide updates as they become available.
K-State will look to bounce back after this loss in Lawrence when they take on Alabama on the road in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on ESPN2.