Kansas had a well-publicized fall from grace and the top of the college basketball rankings and, with Monday night's win, avoided its first four-game losing streak since 1989. McLemore was hell-bent on making sure that wouldn't happen as Kansas jumped out to a 47-29 lead at half.
McLemore put on his birthday hat early, scoring 17 points in the first half as the Jayhawks shot 58.6 percent in the first half. The freshman guard celebrated his 20th birthday with a stellar final line, shooting 9-13 from the floor, including 6-10 from three-point range and 6-6 from the free-throw line.
Jayhawks center Jeff Withey also had quite the night, with five blocks to pass Greg Ostertag's 259 blocks for the all-time school record. Withey finished the night with 17 points and 10 rebounds as well. Withey now just sits one block shy of Chris Mihm of Texas for Big 12 career record.
With all the talk of point guard troubles, Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe handled the point like a pro, doling out eight assists while only turning the ball over once. Senior guard Elijah Johnson, who had come under scrutiny over the losing streak, struggled against the Wildcats, going just 1-6 for three points while turning the ball over four times.
The Wildcats missed a rare opportunity to beat up on a lower-ranked Jayhawks. It is the first time the Wildcats have had a higher ranking than their in-state rivals since the 1988 NCAA Tournament.