No. 3 Kansas bounces back from loss, tops Kansas State 74-71

Feb 6, 2017; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks gaurd Josh Jackson (11) shoots the ball as Kansas State Wildcats forwards Dean Wade (32) and D.J. Johnson (4) defend during the first half at Fred Bramlage Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Frank Mason III had 21 points, Josh Jackson added 18 despite dealing with foul trouble, and No. 3 Kansas bounced back from a rare home loss to hold off Kansas State 74-71 on Monday night.

The Jayhawks (21-3, 9-2 Big 12) beat the Wildcats (16-8, 5-6) for the fifth straight time and the 19th time in 22 meetings, though it was just as nip-and-tuck as their meeting in Lawrence.

The game was tied 63-all with 2:50 left when Kansas ripped off six quick points, but the Wildcats kept hanging around. D.J. Johnson hit three of four foul shots down the stretch, and Kamau Stokes hit a 3-pointer from the wing to get within 72-69 with 19.2 seconds to go.

Devonte Graham calmly hit two more free throws to put the game away.

Dean Wade led the Wildcats with 20 points. Stokes added 16 points and eight boards, Johnson had 14 points and Wesley Iwundu contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Wildcats no doubt remembered the first meeting in Lawrence, when the Jayhawks’ Svi Mykhailiuk clearly traveled on the way to the basket — no whistle was blown — for the winning layup. They promptly roared out to a big early lead Monday night, leaning on their defense to produce easy offense.

But rarely do the Sunflower State rivals get together without a tussle.

Kansas used a pair of big runs to take a 37-35 lead into halftime, then appeared to flex its muscle coming out of the break. Jackson hit back-to-back 3-pointers, Landen Lucas threw down a dunk and the Jayhawks stretched their lead to 47-38 and forced Kansas State to call timeout.

The Wildcats responded by inching closer throughout the second half, and their big break came when Jackson picked up his fourth foul with 9:56 to go. With the springy freshman reduced to sitting on the bench, the Wildcats pulled ahead 60-59 on Wade’s basket with 4 1/2 minutes to go.

It was still tied 63-all when Mykhailiuk hit an open 3-pointer from the wing, and that triggered a quick spurt by the Jayhawks that included free throws from Mason and Jackson.

They never trailed the rest of the way.

BRAGG RETURNS

Jayhawks coach Bill Self lifted Carlton Bragg Jr.’s indefinite suspension after the sophomore was granted diversion for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, a charge that will be dismissed if he does not commit a crime for the next six months. Bragg left briefly in the second half after hurting his left foot, then nearly got a technical foul during a scrap for a loose ball.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas maintained control of the Big 12 race by sweeping the season series. But big games loom in the next couple weeks, including a visit from West Virginia and a trip to Baylor.

Kansas State showed in a road win over the Bears on Saturday that it can beat the nation’s best, but close losses are starting to stack up. The Wildcats lost to Maryland, Texas Tech, Iowa State, TCU and now Kansas twice in games decided by five points or fewer.

UP NEXT

Kansas heads to Texas Tech on Saturday.

Kansas State visits West Virginia on Saturday.