LAWRENCE, Kan. – Freshman guard Christian Braun’s hot shooting and career-high 20 points helped lead the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks to an 81-60 win over Kansas State in the 292nd Dillons Sunflower Showdown Tuesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse. Braun connected on six 3-pointers, while sophomore Devon Dotson added 18 points and senior Udoka Azubuike turned in his seventh double-double as the Jayhawks won their 14th-straight against their in-state rival in Lawrence.
The victory moved the Jayhawks to 15-3 on the year and 5-1 in Big 12 play. Kansas State fell 8-10 in its 2019-20 campaign and 1-5 in the conference.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
Christian Braun checked into the game for the first time at the 16:37 mark and the Jayhawks trailing 5-4. Over the next six minutes the freshman out of Burlington, Kansas scored 11 points during a 22-4 KU run that saw the Jayhawks build its lead to 26-9 by the 10:30 mark of the first half. Braun hit three 3-pointers and went a perfect 4-of-4 during the stretch. K-State was never able to shrink its deficit to less than 13 points for the rest of the contest.
STAT OF THE GAME
37 – The Kansas bench turned in 37 points and outscored the Wildcat bench by 28, its second-largest margin of the season. It marked the most points the Jayhawk bench has scored in a Big 12 game since KU’s reserves scored 43 against Iowa State on March 5, 2016.
The win improved Kansas to 14-0 following a home loss in the Self era.
The victory also gave Kansas its 14th-straight win against Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas used a 19-2 run to increase its lead to 26-9 with 10:29 remaining in the first half. Christian Braun went 3-of-3 from deep in this span while Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji added a pair of buckets.
Kansas scored 18 points off 11 K-State turnovers in the first half.
The Jayhawks bench outscored the Wildcats 18-2 in the opening frame and finished the night outscoring KSU 37-9.
KU’s 21-point victory was its largest over Kansas State since KU topped the Wildcats 85-63 on Mar. 10, 2016 and its largest victory in Lawrence since KU defeated KSU 86-60 on Jan. 11, 2014.
Kansas’ 17 offensive rebounds were its most this season.
The Jayhawks’ seven blocks in the second half were their most in a half since Kansas rejected seven first-half shots against Baylor on Jan. 12, 2019.
Freshman guard Christian Braun’ 20-point effort broke his career-high of 11 points that he previously set against Monmouth on Nov. 15, 2019.
Braun’s six triples were a career-high, topping his previous high of three that he set against Iowa State Jan. 8, 2020.
It also was the most threes by a KU freshman since Quentin Grimes hit six against Michigan State on Nov. 6, 2019.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“He was great … This is his first rivalry game and he comes out and gets 20 and was terrific, by far the best player in the game.”
– BILL SELF ON CHRISTIAN BRAUN
The Jayhawks will step out of league play on Saturday, Jan. 25 when they take part in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge to face the Tennessee Volunteers. Tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 3 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. KU is 3-1 all-time against Tennessee and 4-2 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The day will also feature the return of ESPN College GameDay’s return to Lawrence. The one-hour show will begin at 10 a.m. (CT). Saturday marks the 20th time the Jayhawks will be featured on GameDay, with 16 regular-season appearances and three at neutral locations. The Jayhawks are 11-5 in their previous regular-season appearances.