Iowa State made a big run, tempers flared, but when all was said and done Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse it was the Jayhawks who emerged -- in regulation nonetheless (the last two KU-ISU meetings in Lawrence were overtime affairs) -- with their 14th win in 16 games in an 88-75 victory.
"It just shut them up," said Brandon Rush of KU's win in a spirited game that saw both teams receive technical fouls with five minutes to go. "You lost, what more can you say?"
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Well if you're KU freshman guard Mario Chalmers you could say that you scored a new career-high of 23 points and for the second straight game revived Kansas right when it seeemed to need it the most.
The Jayhawks hadn't scored for four minutes midway through the second half, but Chalmers knocked down a three to start an 18-6 KU run that closed out the Jayhawks first series sweep over the Cyclones since 2003.
"We just had a lot of turnovers and were trying to rush things," Chalmers said of KU's scoring drought. "When Coach called that timeout, it really settled us down and we started getting back to our game."
Early in the first half it looked as if Chalmers might not have as big of an impact because KU coach Bill Self scolded him for not taking a pair of charges.
"Hear I am, I'm not happy with him at all and he gets 23 on 12 shots and has one tunover," said Self, whose squad is 8-2 in the Big 12 for the third-straight season. "He got off to a rough start. Mario is one of those guys that sometimes drives coaches nuts, not in a bad way. But he drives them nuts because he is a smooth player. Sometimes smooth players don't look like they are going quite as hard as you want them to go, because he's smooth.
"I'm learning more and more about him. And he's playing oh so well."
The Cyclones weren't too shabby themselves, coming back with a vengence in the second half.
"I thought we fought real hard, especially druing the second half," said ISU coach Wayne Morgan, whose squad slipped to 14-9 overall and 4-6 in the conference. "Kansas is a very good team. I feel proud that my guys never gave up and continued to fight the whole time and if we can do that, then hopefully down the road we will like the results."
ISU hit its first four three-pointers and cut KU's one-time 16-point, first half lead to four, 59-55, with a Curtis Stinson lay-up with 13:29 left.
"I worried because I knew that Stinson and Blalock love playing here," KU coach Bill Self said of Cyclones Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson, who combined for 40 points on 17-of-39 shooting.
"Iowa State is one of the most talented teams we've played and their perimeter is unbelievably talented, but we played well. The whole this is those freshman," continued Self, who saw his three rookies (Chalmers, Rush, and Wright) combine for 52 points, 23 rebounds, and 11 assists.
"They are playing the way we envisioned they would play."
So too did an intense ISU squad.
"We came out and played hard. A lot of people expected us to lose so we wanted to make sure that we came out and played tough," said ISU forward Rahshon Clark. "It got out of hand because both teams were getting very aggressive."
Indeed Clark and Kansas' C.J. Giles got into a tussle and had to be separated with five minutes left. Earlier in the possession ISU's Blalock bumped into Russell Robinson, who flew backward over the scorer's table.
Giles got the ball down low and was fouled by ISU's Shawn Taggart. As he was walking away it appeared that Giles and Clark had words for each other and exchanged shoves.
Officials separated the teams and studied television replays before charging both Giles and Taggart with technical fouls.
"I think the officials wanted to call something, but I don't need that negatively," Self said. "Just so they could control the situation.
"I'll be real candid with you, I'd be disappointed if our guys didn't stand up for our teammates. They should never throw a punch. I don't think C.J. deserved a technical, I don't even know if Taggart deserved one. That was obviously a thing to do to get everyone under control."
Robinson, who like Stinson is a Bronx, New York native, said the game was no where close to some of the battles he's had back home on the playgrounds.
"It was a lot more tame than some New York games," Robinson said with a grin. "But it definitely was high spirited."
But Self, whose squad is riding its second seventh-game win streak of the season, said he expects Monday's contest against Oklahoma State to be every bit as rowdy.
"There's a lot of reasons why I know will get a great effort," said Self, who lost 80-60 two years ago in Stillwater, Okla. "A. They're back home and they've struggled at home a little bit and it's a great home court. Kansas is coming to town. Trust me their coaches will get them fired up for a lot of different reasons in this one.
"I really think it is as pivotal a game as we've played all year."
Second Half Action
Sasha Kaun missed a dunk, but kept the ball with KU on an alternate possession. The Kansas big man didn't miss the second time, throwing down a feed from Julian Wright to put KU up 49-32.
Will Blalock came back the other way and hit a three for the Cyclones.
KU has 14 assists on 18 baskets.
Russell Robinson hit a pair of free throws for the 51-35 lead.
Curtis Stinson hit a bucket, but couldn't complete the three-point play.
Jiri Hubalek hit a three at the top of the key and Blalock followed with another triple to cut the score to 51-43.
Darnell Jackson scored on the inside to push KU's lead back to double digits.
Mario Chalmers hit a teardrop, and Stinson answered with a drive of his own.
Blalock scored on a drive to cut the score to 55-47.
Chalmers hit another floater.
Stinson came right back down the court with a basket of his own.
Clark was fouled hard by Wright on a drive to the basket. The Cyclone missed both free throws and KU stayed in front by a 57-49 margin.
Jackson scored again down low off a pass from Wright.
Hubalek hit another trey.
KU committed its 13th turnover and Blalock was fouled by Robinson on a drive.
Blalock hit one charitiy to cut KU's lead to 59-53 with just over 14 minutes left.
Stinson scored on another drive. The ISU guard has eight second half points after scoring only four in the first 20 minutes.
Iowa State is on a 23-12 run.
Stinson missed ISU's first second-half three as Iowa State hit its first four triples.
KU hasn't scored in four minutes.
Chalmers broke the drought with a three from the top of the key to put KU ahead 62-55 with just under 10 minutes to go.
Robinson scored on a lay-up.
Chalmers hit another three to make the score 67-57 with a little over seven minutes left.
Blalock hit another bank shot.
Rush scored on a lay-up and was fouled. The KU freshman knocked down the charity to put KU up 11.
But Taggart knocked down a long jumper for ISU.
Chalmers hit a pair of free throws to give him 19 points and put KU up 72-61.
C.J. Giles hit a pair of free throws to put KU ahead 74-61 with just under six minutes left.
Rush hit a long jumper from the right corner and KU leads again by 13.
Kansas is on a 17-6 run.
Giles was fouled then got into it was ISU's Clark. Earlier in the possession ISU's Blalock bumped Robinson who flew over the scorer's table.
The two teams had to be separated.
A double technical was called -- including one on Giles.
Giles hit a free throw, ISU scored, but Giles was fouled and hit two more charities.
Stinson scored to cut KU's lead to 79-65 with four minutes to play.
Giles, who has hit 7-of-10 free throws, hit another free throw to give KU a 80-65 lead.
Wright scored his first second half basket on a tip in.
Chalmers hit a pair of free throws.
Blalock launched another three and scored on a lay-in.
Chalmers hit two more charities to give him a career-high 23 points and put Kansas up 86-72.
Robinson hit two free throws and Wright recorded a big block.
Stinson scored a late basket and was fouled
Kansas will sweep ISU for the first time in three years by the score of 88-75.
Kansas got off to a slow start Saturday against the Cyclones but quickly made up for it with two big runs in the first half to take a 47-32 lead at the break.
The Jayhawks were led by Brandon Rush and Julian Wright, who each scored 11 points and also had a couple of big-time dunks.
Kansas hit 17-of-32 field goals and the Jayhawks outreboudned Iowa State 23-15.
Mario Chalmers scored seven points, while Jeff Hawkins and Darnell Jackson each tallied 11.
ISU was led by Rahshon Clark's eight points.
First Half Action
Kansas won the tip on the second try, but Sasha Kaun missed a shot down low.
Iowa State big man Jiri Hubalek knocked down a shot from the baseline to give ISU the early lead.
Julian Wright hit a free throw to make the score 2-1.
Iowa State's Shaw Taggart added a hook shot for the 4-1 lead.
Rahshon Clark added a lay-in to take an early 6-1 advantage with 18:28 to go in the half.
KU committed three straight turnovers and ISU leads 8-1.
Wright scored on a dunk off a 2-on-1 break with Brandon Rush.
Russell Robinson couldn't convert a fastbreak lay-up but was fouled and hit one of two free throws to cut the score to 8-4.
Kansas has hit just 1-of-6 shots, while ISU has hit 4-of-8.
Wright got KU faithful on their feet when he threw down a reverse alley-oop off a pass from Robinson to cut KU's deficit to two.
Ross Marsden hit back-to-back jumpers for the Cyclones.
Rush hit a three from the left side to cut the score to 12-9, then Mario Chalmers followed with a steal and dunk to cut KU's deficit to one with 13:27 left in the half.
C.J. Giles gave KU its first lead of the game on a lay-in down low as KU is on a 7-0 run.
Stinson answered with a shot in the lane for Iowa State.
But Darnell Jackson came back and scored in the post to put KU back on top 15-14 with 11:51 to go in the half.
Hubalek scored on a dunk, but Jackson answered with a lay-in for the 17-16 lead.
Rush followed with a jumper off the dribble.
Chalmers missed a shot, but Rush tipped the ball in the basket.
John Neal hit a three for ISU to keep the Cyclones close at 21-19.
Chalmers threw a behind-the-back pass to Rush for a dunk, but was fouled beforehand.
Chalmers hit a pair at the line to put KU up by four.
Jeff Hawkins hit a three from the right side to put KU ahead 26-19 with 9:09 to go in the half.
Jackson came up with a steal and handed the ball to Hawkins who hit another three as the ball rolled around and finally dropped in. The trey puts KU up by 10. The Jayhawks are on a 12-3 run over the last three minutes.
Stinson hit a tough shot in the lane, but Chalmers hit KU's third three-pointer in a row to put KU ahead 32-21.
Neal hit his second three of the game, but Jackson followed with a lay-in down low.
Hubalek, who scored seven points in KU's win in Ames, Iowa, already has six today, hit another baseline jumper.
Rush flushed the ball with two hands off a nice lob pass from Robinson. Rush has seven points.
Wright hit a high-arching bank shot to put KU up 40-26 with 4:51 to go.
Clark hit a shot for the Cyclones to cut KU's lead to 11 with just over four minutes to go in the half.
Blalock hit a free throw for ISU, after getting fouled on a lay-in where he thought his shot off the glass was goaltended by KU's Wright.
Stinson, who has just four points, missed a one-and-one.
Rush caught another alley-oop from Chalmers, and Wright followed with a big two-handed dunk to put KU up 45-31 with 1:35 to go in the half.
Robinson hit a pair of free throws to put KU up by 16.
ISU's Carr hit a free throw to make the score 47-32.
Chalmers barely missed a three at the buzzer off a drawn-up inbounds play to keep the score at 47-32 into the break.
Kansas University has one of the longest active win steaks in the nation as it takes its six-game win streak into today's 3 p.m. contest against Iowa State at Allen Fieldhouse.
KU (16-6, 7-2 Big 12) is coming off a 69-48 win at Nebraska on Wednesday. Iowa State is 3-3 in its last six games after its 66-63 loss at Kansas State Wednesday. KU defeated ISU 95-85 on Jan. 28 in Ames.
But the Cyclones have kept it close against the Jayhawks the last two years in the Fieldhouse, forcing overtime both times and defeating Kansas 63-61 last year in Lawrence.
Kansas coach Bill Self said the Jayhawks' biggest task is limiting ISU guards Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock.
"We've got to do a good job on those two," Self said. "Those two have pretty much controlled the game the last two years we played them here (including KU's narrow 90-89 overtime victory in 2004)."
Indeed Iowa State (14-8 overall, 4-5 Big 12) is led by Stinson, who ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring with 19.7 points per game. He leads the conference in steals with 56. Junior Will Blalock is next in scoring at 14.3. He leads the league in assists at 6.3 per games.
Sophomore forward Rahshon Clark is averaging 14 points per game and is the team's three-point leader with 35 made, just ahead of Blaclock's 34 and Stinson's 31. Clark leads the team in rebounds with 5.5 per game. Iowa State averages 78.3 points per game and leads the Big 12 in turnover margin at +5.9.
"I think they have a good backcourt," said KU guard Russell Robinson, who like Stinson is a Bronx, N.Y. native. "I will not forget Rahshon Clark. He takes a lot of pressure off them (other guards). They have a good, three-guard lineup. Our backcourt is close. We've got a good backcourt, too."
The Jayhawks are currently 7-2 in Big 12 play and sit one game behind league leader Texas at 8-1. KU guard Brandon Rush leads KU and the Big 12 freshmen class in scoring with 14.4 points per game. Rush - the reigning Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week - leads KU in three-point field goals with 33 and is tied for the team high in rebounding with a 5.9 average.
Freshman Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 10 points per contest. The guard leads KU in steals with 58 - second in the Big 12 - and assists with 88 - sixth in the conference. Sophomore center Sasha Kaun is next in scoring at nine points per game and is tied with Rush for the rebounding lead at 5.9 rpg. KU averages 76.5 points overall and 78.2 ppg in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks are outscoring league foes by more than 13 points per game.
Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State 159-58, yet the two teams have split their last two season series meetings. In fact, four of the last five meetings have been decided by seven points or less with two of those going into overtime - both in Lawrence.
Last season the visiting teams each won games with KU a 71-66 winner at Ames and ISU a 63-61 overtime decision in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas defeated Iowa State 95-85 in Ames on Jan. 28. Kansas is 40-9 against Iowa State at Allen Fieldhouse. KU holds a 12-7 edge in Big 12 league play.