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No. 10 Kansas State routed by No. 14 Kansas, 83-62

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 11:45 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State took a rare conference lead into Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night.

The 10th-ranked Wildcats left with a familiar loss.

Rodney McGruder had 17 of his 20 points in the second half, when the game had mostly been decided, and the 14th-ranked Jayhawks routed the Wildcats 83-62 to end a three-game losing streak and forge a tie with their in-state rival for first place in the Big 12.

"It's a tough environment and we caught them at the wrong time," said Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, whose team had capitalized on the Jayhawks' poor play with its own four-game winning streak to move into sole possession of first place in the conference.

"It should have been more of a game."

It wasn't.

Midway through the first half, Kansas State was in foul trouble and Kansas had already built a double-digit lead. It only grew as the Jayhawks were up 47-29 at halftime.

So much for having the higher ranking in Lawrence for the first time since Feb. 20, 1983.

"They hit a couple 3s, but they also got a couple easy dunks," Wildcats guard Will Spradling said. "When they get dunks at home, that gets the crowd going too, and they feed off that crowd really well."

Ben McLemore scored 30 points on his 20th birthday to lead the Jayhawks (20-4, 8-3 Big 12). Jeff Withey had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, giving him 263 for his career, one shy of the conference's career mark held by Chris Mihm of Texas.

Withey even had a couple of steals as he helped the Jayhawks pull even with the Wildcats (19-5, 8-3) in the league race — though two of those loses by Kansas State have come against the bullies just down Interstate 70.

"I can't dwell on it," McGruder said of the Wildcats' struggles against Kansas, which includes six straight defeats in Lawrence. "That's something I can dwell on once my career is over at K-State, but now I just have to get ready for the next game."

Kansas won for the 11th time in the last 12 games between the in-state rivals, and for the 46th time in their last 49 meetings, prompting the student section to chant "This is our state!" once again in the closing minutes.

Many of those fans had started to fret lately.

After winning 18 straight games, the Jayhawks had lost three in a row for the first time since February 2005, tumbling from No. 2 in the AP poll all the way down to No. 14.

Most of the Jayhawks' struggles the past two weeks have centered on their offense, which had produced just 13 points in the first half of an embarrassing loss to TCU last Wednesday night.

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