Agbaji passes Chamberlain in No. 5 Kansas win over K-State

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) dives the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State on Tuesday Feb. 22, 2022 in Lawrence, Kan.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) dives the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State on Tuesday Feb. 22, 2022 in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PA

Ochai Agbaji scored 23 points and passed Wilt Chamberlain on Kansas’ career scoring list, leading the No. 5 Jayhawks to a 102-83 win over Kansas State on Tuesday night.

Agbaji, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, now has 1,444 points in 110 games, 26th on Kansas’ all-time list. He passed Chamberlain with his 13th point of the first half. Chamberlain had 1,433 points in 48 games.

“I didn’t know that,” Agbaji said when asked about his post-match milestone. “It’s an honor, a great moment.”

When told that it only took 48 games for Chamberlain to reach his total, Agbaji simply said, “Oh, wow.”

Danny Manning (2,951 points) is Kansas’ all-time leading scorer.

Christian Braun scored 20 points, Jalen Wilson added 17 and Mitch Lightfoot 13 for Kansas (23-4, 12-2 Big 12), which earned its 16th straight win over K-State at home.

Kansas coach Bill Self was asked if the margin of victory gives his team confidence and momentum.

“I think a win would have given us confidence and momentum,” he said, “but we played pretty well offensively. We cooked there for a while. K-State also did really well. played offensively. We couldn’t stop them and they couldn’t stop us.

“It was a good game. The game probably had more pace than any game we’ve played this year.

Kansas is 203-94 all-time against Kansas State. The 203 wins are the most by any school over any opponent in NCAA Division I history. Oregon State’s 193 wins over Oregon rank second.

Markquis Nowell scored 20 points, Nijel Pack, Selton Miguel and Mike McGuirl each had 13, and Mark Smith added 11 for Kansas State (14-13, 6-9), which finished one point off its high of the season.

“I think K-State has done a lot to force the (pace),” Self said. “They did things that we hadn’t seen before.”

Kansas maintained its one-and-a-half-game Big 12 conference lead against Baylor and Texas Tech. The Jayhawks will face Baylor on Saturday in Waco, Texas.

Kansas, which had to overcome a 17-point deficit in the second half of its victory in Manhattan in January, did not have to come back on Tuesday. The Jayhawks scored the first bucket of the second half and their lead never dropped to single digits.

“It’s always fun to play against them,” Braun said. “We always enjoy the rivalry.”

The Jayhawks’ 102 points tied a season high. They shot 64.1 percent (41 for 64) from the field.

K-State stayed close early with a 3-point shot, connecting on 3 of 7 early, including two in a row by McGuirl. But Kansas used a quick 6-0 run to take an 18-13 lead.

Kansas gradually pulled away, taking a 10-point lead on a Wilson tip with 9:02 left in the first half. The Jayhawks’ biggest first-half lead was 16 points at 46-30, and they led 53-43 at halftime.

Agbaji’s 15 points in the first half led the Jayhawks. K-State was led by Pack and Nowell with 11 points apiece in the first half.

TAKE AWAY

Kansas State: The Wildcats likely need to win three of their next four games to reach the NCAA Tournament. They have home games against Iowa State and Oklahoma, sandwiched around a road game against No. 9 Texas Tech before their Big 12 tournament opener.

Kansas: Bill Self still owns Kansas State in basketball. He is now 39-6 against rivals Manhattan, Kansas, including 18-1 at Allen Fieldhouse.

FOLLOWING

Kansas State: Hosts Iowa State on Saturday.

Kansas: Travel to Waco, Texas on Saturday to face No. 10 Baylor.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter. com/AP_Top25

Comments are closed.