Page last updated on Tue Sep 30 05:51:51 EDT 2014
03/02/2013 6:28 PM EST
No. 6 Kansas beats West Virginia 91-65
KANSAS 91, WEST VIRGINIA 65
By DOUG TUCKER
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- By shattering Danny Manning's Kansas
freshman record with 36 points on Saturday, Ben McLemore did
more than propel the sixth-ranked Jayhawks to a 91-65 romp over
He also took Bill Self back to his own college days.
The Kansas coach was a senior guard at Oklahoma State when
Manning lit up the Cowboys for 35 points on March 2, 1985 in an
88-79 Jayhawks victory, a school record which stood exactly 28
"I was in that game," Self said with a grin. "I played the back
line of a 2-3 zone. I think he got like 20 on me. But not all
What Manning lacked that day was a teammate like Jeff Withey,
who complemented McLemore with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine
blocks, falling one block shy of a triple-double as Kansas
(25-4, 13-3 Big 12) took a half-game lead over Kansas State in
its quest for a ninth straight Big 12 championship. The
13th-ranked Wildcats played later Saturday at Baylor.
"I was one block away (from a triple-double) and I felt pretty
good about that," said Withey, who pushed his school and
conference record to 281 blocks. "Nine is a lot, and I did a lot
of work for that. As long as we get the win, I'm usually happy."
McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a
little more than 5 minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots
from the field, including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. He
had seven rebounds and four assists.
Elijah Johnson, one game after scoring 39 points at Iowa State,
had 12 points and 10 assists for the Jayhawks.
"I just want to thank my teammates, especially Elijah, for
creating things for me and helping me get my shots open," said
McLemore, who got the record with his fifth 3-pointer. "Elijah
is a great player because he can see when I get on a roll and he
wants to keep feeding me."
"Ben was remarkable tonight," Self said. "Elijah was good. Jeff
was great. Everybody else was solid. That's about as efficient
offensively as we've been all year."
The Jayhawks shot 57 percent for the game.
While being so active on both ends of the court, Withey did not
pick up his first foul until a little more than 5 minutes
remained in the game.
"He is the best shot-blocker in the country," West Virginia
coach Bob Huggins said.
Terry Henderson had 20 points for the Mountaineers (13-16,
6-10), including 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Dominique Rutledge
had 14 of his 17 points in the second half in West Virginia's
first visit to venerable Allen Field House, where Self now
stands 162-8 with one home to go in his 10th season as Kansas
"We're not good enough to get down 10 or 12 or 14 to a team as
good as they are and be able to come back," Huggins said. "We
have to keep the game within reach and it's hard to do that when
we commit unforced errors."
McLemore scored 19 points in a back-and-forth first half which
Naadir Tharp brought to an end with a long 3-pointer just
seconds ahead of the buzzer for a 45-31 Kansas lead.
"We could have guarded him a little better. We didn't guard him
very well," Huggins said.
The Mountaineers had a hot hand early and led by as many as six
points while Kansas was groping to find its shot.
As soon as they located it, the Jayhawks quickly seized control
with an 18-5 run, fueled by McLemore's two 3-pointers and three
blocks by the 7-foot Withey, who had a 3-inch height advantage
over West Virginia's Deniz Kilicli.
Withey had a triple-double earlier this season against San Jose
State with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks.
The Jayhawks host Texas Tech on Monday night then finish the
regular season at Baylor.
"We know we have to win the rest of our games to win the
conference (championship). And in order to get into our groove
in the tournament," Withey said.
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