Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Instead of clinching its fifth straight
outright Big 12 regular-season crown last weekend, Kansas had to settle for a
share with in-state rival Kansas State following a loss to Baylor.
There wasn't any doubt as to who the better team was on Saturday.
Jeff Withey had 17 points and nine rebounds in No. 7 Kansas' 70-54 rout of No.
11 Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game.
Kansas won its sixth Big 12 Tournament title in eight years and its record
ninth overall, which is more than the rest of the league put together. The
Jayhawks improved to 9-0 in Big 12 championship games.
The Jayhawks, who have won 31-of-34 regular-season meetings against the
Wildcats since the 1996-97 season, also defeated them in the 2010 Big 12 title
Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe netted 12 points apiece for Kansas (29-5), which
has won 10 of its last 11 games.
Rodney McGruder finished with 18 points to lead the Wildcats (27-7), who never
found a consistent rhythm offensively and went a 10-plus minute stretch
without a field goal in the first half.
Kansas' loss to Baylor last Saturday allowed Kansas State to win its first
conference championship since 1976-77 when it played in the Big Eight.
Martavious Irving's 3-pointer at the 11:55 mark of the first half gave the
Wildcats an early 11-8 advantage, but they didn't record another field goal
until 1:31 was left in the opening stanza.
Meanwhile, Kansas slowly pulled away as it went on a 14-2 run during K-State's
Elijah Johnson and Tharpe nailed 3-pointers during the surge, which was capped
on a Withey dunk to give Kansas a 22-13 edge. Angel Rodriguez's triple finally
ended the drought for the Wildcats.
Kansas took a 24-16 cushion into the break.
Thomas Gipson's tip-in got K-State within 28-25 early in the second half
before the Jayhawks pulled away again with a 12-3 swing. Withey had five
points during the burst to put Kansas up 40-28.
McGruder's layup pulled the Wildcats within 50-41 with 8:36 remaining, but
Ellis' three-point play at the other end upped the advantage back to 12 and K-
State never got within single digits again.
Kansas' margin reached its apex at 17 down the stretch.
Kansas has won a share of nine straight Big 12 regular-season crowns ... The
Jayhawks has won all three of their games against K-State this year ...
Rodriguez poured in 10 points.
The Sports Network