LAWRENCE — Conner Teahan hit just two shots all night, but it could be said they were the biggest shots of the game.
After Kansas State fought all the way back to within three points, the senior guard connected on back-to-back 3s from the baseline, ending a six-minute scoreless drought for Kansas, which went on to win 67-49 in Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday night.
“Conner bailed us out,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “He made two shots that got it back to (seven) really quick, and the next thing you know it’s 11.
“They had worked so hard to cut it from 15 to three and all of a sudden it is right back where we started just in the span of a minute or two. I thought Conner made the biggest shots of the game.”
K-State trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half, but used a 10-0 run to get the score to 39-36 with 12:30 left in the game. And after coming all the way back, those 3s took the wind out of K-State’s sails.
“It’s deflating,” K-State head coach Frank Martin said. “It takes so much effort and energy to get yourself back to where you can manage the game that then you make a mistake and they make you pay. That deflates your team. It deflated us, because it went from (three points) and we were kind of rolling a little bit to right away being deflated. They started coming up with every loose ball, we couldn’t make a layup and missed free throws.”
Self called a timeout when the Wildcats pulled to within three points. Following the timeout, Martin elected to switch to a zone defense, and Teahan made K-State pay.
“It was (39-36) and we lose Teahan back-to-back possessions,” Martin said. “Credit Teahan, he made the shots. But that’s a breakdown on us. Scouting report says do not leave Conner Teahan when he’s in the corner, and we left him twice. He made both shots.”
Martin said he went to the zone because the Wildcats couldn’t guard the ball in their man-to-man defense.
“Our bigs were late on their ball-screen stuff,” he said. “They were guarding it different than what we practice and that was putting our guards in difficult moments. I just didn’t feel comfortable. We weren’t doing a very good job of controlling the ball so I was trying to get Kansas out of that rhythm of just driving the ball and attacking us and it worked for a little while.”
But Teahan shot the Wildcats out of the zone and in doing so, shot them out of the game.
“That was huge,” said KU guard Tyshawn Taylor. “They almost tied it. He came into the game and that was huge for us. It helped us get a more comfortable lead and we pulled off from there.”
•K-State has lost its last five games in Lawrence, all under Martin, by an average of 18 points, which was the outcome Wednesday.
•KU finished with a season-high 19 offensive rebounds, while K-State was held to 26 rebounds overall, the lowest total on the season for the Wildcats.
•K-State had season-lows on Wednesday in the following categories: Shooting percentage (31.6 percent), assists (6) and points (49).
•KU’s Travis Releford recorded the first double-double of his career, leading KU in scoring with 16 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Thomas Robinson joined Releford with a double-double, collecting 14 boards to go with 15 points.