Sophomore guard Malik Newman made two free throws with 15.2 seconds remaining Saturday and senior guard Devonte’ Graham netted a game-high 23 points as No. 12 Kansas nipped Kansas State 73-72 at Lawrence, Kan.
Newman was fouled on a drive to the hoop and converted both free throws, which were separated by a Kansas State timeout.
The Wildcats did not get off a good shot as junior guard Barry Brown dribbled out front and was then forced to fire a contested 3-pointer that bounded off at the buzzer.
The victory enabled Kansas (14-3, 4-1 Big 12) to keep pace in the conference standings, while beating Kansas State (12-5, 2-3) for the sixth straight time in the series and the 12th straight time in Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks used an 11-0 run early in the second half to go up 49-38, but freshman guard Cartier Diarra responded with 11 straight points on his own for the Wildcats. Diarra, who scored all but two of his 18 points in the second half, made his second straight start as a replacement for junior Kamau Stokes, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury.
Junior forward Dean Wade led Kansas State with 22 points. Sophomore forward Xavier Sneed had 14 points and seven rebounds. Brown, coming off a career-best 38-point performance in a win over Oklahoma State, dished six assists and scored 12 points, but was just 5-for-14.
Kansas often fed Udoka Azubuike inside in the second half and the sophomore center responded with 18 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Mykhailiuk hit two 3-pointers inside the final 40 seconds, including one at the buzzer, to help Kansas forge a 34-34 halftime tie.
Kansas State did not lead until the 4:11 mark of the first half on a bucket by Wade, but then grabbed a six-point edge off a steal and fast-break layup from Cartier Diarra. Wade provided 11 points and five rebounds in the first half and Sneed chipped in 10.
The Jayhawks led by as many as eight, surging to a 17-9 lead. Graham, who was averaging 39 minutes per game in Big 12 play, went to the bench with his second foul at the 12:32 mark, but re-entered seven minutes later.
Freshman forward Silvio De Sousa was cleared to play Saturday prior to tipoff. A five-star prospect who enrolled at the semester break, De Sousa entered with 9:42 left in the first half but quickly committed a turnover. The 6-foot-9 native of Angola played just four minutes.
Kansas continues to wait on a ruling from the NCAA on the eligibility of freshman forward Billy Preston, whose status has been uncertain since the beginning of the season after the school’s compliance office began looking into the financing of a vehicle he was driving.
—Field Level Media