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Old 01-23-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
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Game Day Kansas wins 16th straight, stays perfect in Big 12 by beating K-State

AP

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas and Kansas State rarely paint a masterpiece when they meet on the hardwood.

The defensive-minded Jayhawks, with Travis Releford on the perimeter and Jeff Withey in the paint, make life miserable for opposing offenses, while the veteran Wildcats relish the chance to bump, bang and bludgeon foes on both ends of the court.

Little surprise that they played another tough-as-nails game Tuesday night.

Releford scored 12 points, Withey and Ben McLemore each added 11, and the third-ranked Jayhawks held on down the stretch for a 59-55 victory that gave them sole possession of first place in the Big 12.

"That game went just as all you predicted, not the most artistic," Kansas coach Bill Self said, sporting the kind of wry smile that said he didn't mind one bit.

The Jayhawks have grown accustomed to such blood-and-guts games, needing a desperation 3-pointer from McLemore to force overtime in a win over Iowa State and a frantic second-half comeback to beat Texas, all while running their winning streak to a nation-leading 16 games.

Kansas (17-1, 5-0 Big 12) briefly led by 10 points in the second half before needing everything it could muster in the closing seconds to end the Wildcats' eight-game winning streak.

"They just find ways to win," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said.

Shane Southwell, who had a career-high 19 points, tried to do the same for Kansas State (15-3, 4-1), getting his team within 56-53 with a scooping layup with 38.2 seconds left.

Naadir Tharpe made two foul shots to restore the Jayhawks' five-point lead, and the Wildcats' Rodney McGruder misfired from beyond the arc at the other end. But McLemore missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and McGruder's two foul shots made it 58-55 with 5 seconds left.

Elijah Johnson was fouled, and his free throw put the game away.
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