Freshman guard Christian Braun, the lone in-state scholarship recruit on the Kansas roster, came off the bench to net a career-high 20 points Tuesday as the No. 3 Jayhawks destroyed Kansas State 81-60 at Lawrence, Kan.
Braun contributed 11 points in the first half, then started the second half and logged 29 total minutes as Kansas coach Bill Self quickly converted to a small lineup alongside 7-footer Udoka Azubuike.
The senior center recorded his seventh double-double with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Point guard Devon Dotson added 18 points as the Jayhawks (15-3, 5-1 Big 12) claimed their 14th consecutive home win over the Wildcats (8-10, 1-5).
The game ended with an ugly altercation involving reserves on both teams after a blocked shot by the Jayhawks' Silvio De Sousa. De Sousa picked up a folding chair during the melee, which happened after time expired, and was assessed an unsporting technical foul.
A total of five players were ejected.
The teams were brought back out on the floor after going to their locker rooms. A second was put back on the clock, and the Wildcats made one technical foul shot.
After moving up three spots in the polls Monday, the Jayhawks remained within one game of No. 1 Baylor atop the Big 12. The Bears' win at Kansas on Jan. 11 was the only time in the last nine games an opponent scored at least 60 points against the Jayhawks.
Kansas State trailed by 16 at halftime but showed some life with a 13-2 run early in the second half to pull within 13. David Sloan, who led the Wildcats with 17 points, keyed that surge with three buckets off impressive drives.
The Wildcats, however, could not sustain their charge, taking their fifth defeat in six games. Their lone win in that stretch was a startling home blowout of then-No. 12 West Virginia on Saturday.
The Jayhawks used a 19-2 surge built off unanswered strings of nine and 10 points to gain a 26-9 bulge before the midway point of the first half.
They went on to enjoy a 39-23 halftime margin behind Braun, who ended the night 6 of 10 from 3-point range while triggering a 37-8 advantage in bench points.
Dotson sat eight minutes of the first half with two fouls, which also enabled him to rest his ailing hip. He still contributed seven first-half points to help fuel the early getaway.
Mike McGuirl, who drew 15 straight starts to begin the season for Kansas State, missed his third consecutive game while dealing with a concussion.
--Field Level Media