K-State Falls to No. 3/3 Kansas, 81-60, In 292nd Sunflower Showdown

Allen Fieldhouse - Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
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Courtesy of K-State Sports

LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 3/3 Kansas used an early 19-2 run to propel itself to an 81-60 win over Kansas State in 292nd Sunflower Showdown before a sold-out crowd of 16,300 at Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Kansas (15-3, 5-1 Big 12) led for nearly 35 minutes in the game, breaking open an early 7-all tie with 9 consecutive points to take a 16-7 lead and force a timeout by K-State head coach Bruce Weber at the 12:29 mark. After a basket by freshman Montavious Murphy, the Jayhawks answered with a 10-0 run to force yet another Weber timeout and lead at 26-9 with 10:29 before halftime. The team would lead 39-23 at the break.

K-State (8-10, 1-5 Big 12) was able to close the deficit to 49-36 early in the second half after a 3-pointer by freshman DaJuan Gordon at the 14:03 mark but Kansas was able to push the lead back to 20 by scoring 13 of the next 16 points to extend the lead to 62-39 with 9:08 to play.

Junior David Sloan led three Wildcats in double figures with a season-high 17 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, to go with game-tying 5 assists and 4 rebounds in just his second career start and first at Allen Fieldhouse. Senior Xavier Sneed added 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc, while fellow senior Makol Mawien chipped in 11 points.

Freshman Christian Braun led all scorers with 20 points for the Jayhawks, as he connected on 7-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, while sophomore Devon Dotson had 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 block in 28 minutes. Senior Udoka Azubuike added a double-double with 10 points on 4-of-5 field goals and a game-high 14 rebounds.

The loss extended the Wildcats’ misery in Allen Fieldhouse, as they now lost 14 consecutive games at the building. K-State has not won in Lawrence since a 59-55 victory on Jan. 14, 2006.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.