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Updated: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 11:59 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(12) Kansas 73, Kansas St 67

LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Michael Lee made his presence felt in his first game since November 25.

Lee, who missed nine games with a broken right collarbone, hit four crucial free throws in the final minute as the 12th-ranked Jayhawks extended their winning streak against Kansas State to 27 games with a 73-67 Big 12 Conference victory.

"They took us to the wire," said Lee, who finished with 16 points. "We stepped up and made some big free throws down the stretch and we pulled it out."

The Wildcats (8-4, 0-1 Big 12), who trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, closed to 67-63 lead on Marques Hayden's dunk with 1:55 left. But Wayne Simien, who paced the Jayhawks with 19 points, got a favorable bounce on a turnaround jumper that made it 69-63 with 1:38 to go.

"We weren't close to being at full strength," tonight Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We had David (Padgett) out, Aaron (Miles) playing on one leg and Keith (Langford), who wasn't feeling well at all."

Kansas State outrebounded Kansas, 41-38, but Lee's free throws put the contest out of a reach, giving the Jayhawks a (10-2, 2-0) a 73-65 edge with 24 seconds remaining.

"K-State played great," Self added. "They kicked our butt on the glass. We knew that was their biggest strength."

Despite being under the weather, Langford finished with 17 points. Jeff Graves added 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for Kansas, including two against Jeremiah Massey on the same possession in the final minute.

"I feel a lot more comfortable and my confidence is on cloud nine," Graves said.

Frank Richards scored 19 points and Tim Ellis added 16 for the Wildcats, who have dropped 10 straight at Allen Fieldhouse and 17 consecutive conference road games.

"We had our chances," Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge said. "We had a stretch in the second half and got in back to a four-point game. We did miss a couple critical shots that really would have made a game of it in the last couple minutes."

Miles' 3-pointer gave Kansas a 51-37 lead with 15:36 left in the contest before the Wildcats made the Jayhawks sweat down the stretch.

"A lot of people thought we would come in and just roll over but we didn't," Hayden said. "We were really excited that it was close at the end but when it comes down to it, we still lost."

Miles handed out a season-high 11 assists for the Jayhawks, who shot 47 percent (25-of-53) and held the Wildcats to 39 percent (26-of-66).


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