Men’s basketball struggles to stop hot-shooting KU, falls in Sunflower Showdown

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K-State guard Mark Smith attempts a layup during the second half of the game against Kansas on Feb. 22, 2022. (Marshall Sunner | Collegian Media Group)

The Big 12’s leading scorer Ochai Agbaji continued his offensive dominance on Tuesday, Feb. 22, dropping 23 points in Kansas’s 102-83 victory over Kansas State. The Wildcats have now lost seven-straight Sunflower Showdowns.

It was the second time this season that Kansas scored 100 points in a game, and it was the most points the K-State defense has allowed since its 107-59 loss last January against Baylor.

“We just weren’t good enough on the defensive end tonight,” super-senior Mike McGuirl said. “We just have to learn from this and get better.”

Kansas shot 64 percent from the field in the victory and 62 percent from three-point land. Christian Braun, the Big 12’s fifth-leading-scorer, chipped in 20 points on 8-12 shooting in 34 minutes of play.

Kansas sophomore Jalen Wilson shot 78 percent from the field, scoring 17 points and dropping five three-pointers in the victory.

“[Kansas] just moved the ball really well,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “It was a night where they were really clicking.”

Junior Markquis Nowell was K-State’s leading scorer with 20 points as the Wildcats shot 47 percent from the field and finished with 83 points — a season-high for the team in conference play.

McGuirl and sophomore Selton Miguel each chipped in 13 points in the loss.

“We just have to play with more pride going forward,” McGuirl said.

Kansas now needs just two wins to clinch the Big 12 title for the 16th time in the Bill Self era. As for K-State, its hopes for NCAA tournament consideration are not out of the water.

According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, K-State needs to win two of their next three games to receive tournament consideration.

K-State has two home games coming up against an Iowa State team its already beaten this year and a .500 Oklahoma team, so getting into the tournament isn’t too far gone.

The Wildcats (14-13, 6-9) hosts Iowa State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, in their second-to-last home game this season, airing on ESPNU.

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