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Kansas defeats Iowa State, 77-70

  • 8 p.m., Jan. 13, 2014
  • Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Leaders: Tharpe’s big night keeps KU unbeaten in Big 12

Kansas point guard Naadir Tharpe pumps his fist after forcing an Iowa State timeout during a Jayhawk run in the second half on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas point guard Naadir Tharpe pumps his fist after forcing an Iowa State timeout during a Jayhawk run in the second half on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self after Jayhawks' huge, 77-70 victory at Iowa State

KU coach Bill Self after Jayhawks' huge 77-70 victory at Iowa State

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KANSAS 77, IOWA STATE 70

Box Score

— He didn’t quite match Elijah Johnson’s 39-point outing of a year ago.

But Kansas University junior Naadir Tharpe continued a two-year tradition of scoring from the point guard position in Hilton Coliseum, exploding for a career-high 23 points in Monday’s 77-70 victory over Iowa State.

“I thought he played great. He hit shots, was finding the open man. I think he was player of the game,” said KU freshman Andrew Wiggins, who was outstanding as well, grabbing 19 rebounds, one off KU’s freshman record of 20 set by Eric Chenowith against Texas A&M in 1998.

Tharpe — he scored 14 points the first half as the teams played to a 36-36 deadlock — hit seven of nine shots overall and was three of four from three. He also made six free throws in seven tries and had four assists against four turnovers with six rebounds in 36 minutes.

“I thought Naadir was terrific. He was fabulous,” said KU coach Bill Self. “He was good the whole game. Anytime anybody scores 23 on nine shots, he’s doing good things. I thought Naa gave us confidence, starting the second half to make a three out of post trap on the first possession ... it seems like a little thing, but next thing you know we are up seven.”

Indeed, Tharpe opened the scoring in the final half as (12-4, 3-0) KU eventually built a game-high lead of 12 points and was able to outlast an ISU team that fell to 14-2, 2-2.

Tharpe wore a red hat with the word “leaders” on it as he met media after the game. It’d be a good story if it’s because he’s a team leader. 

Instead “leaders” is a clothing line, the star of the game explained with a smile.

As far as trying to match his former teammate Johnson’s performance ... “Some people were talking on Twitter: ‘You are going to have another game like Elijah.’ It was nothing like Elijah did. It was more a team game,” Tharpe said.

Tharpe surpassed his previous scoring high of 20 points against Toledo on Dec. 30.

Monday’s scoring outburst came out of nowhere for the 5-foot-11 dynamo from Worcester, Mass.

“Coach told me at shoot-around .... I missed a lot of shots ... he said, ‘play with confidence and be aggressive,’’’ Tharpe said.

He hit two free throws at :46.9, stretching a 72-67 lead to 74-67, part of his six of seven deadeye performance from the line.

“It feels good. Coach always says, ‘Big time players play in the big games,’’’ Tharpe said. “I feel I played well. I had a couple bad turnovers. It’s part of basketball, too, you’ve got to think next play.”

KU freshman big man Joel Embiid also was huge for the Jayhawks, scoring six points in an 8-2 run that stretched a 56-51 lead to 64-53 at 7:52. Embiid had picked up a technical foul in the first half for pulling down on the jersey of DeAndre Kane.

Embiid had four points and two rebounds the first half. He finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and seven turnovers in 28 minutes.

“Coach told me to stay aggressive,” Embiid said of the halftime talk. “The past two games, I knew I had to play well for us to win. The second half I changed my mindset. I went like I’m used to. I got aggressive.”

As far as rebounder deluxe Wiggins, his 19 boards were most by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison had 19 against Duke in the 2003 NCAAs.

“We came out with a bang. We stayed aggressive,” said Wiggins, who said a talk with his dad stressed the importance of rebounding.

Another key to victory was Iowa State hit just four of 25 threes. KU cashed five of 16.

“This was one of our better road wins,” Self said. “We’re so fortunate because they missed shots. We defended them well, but they missed shots. We handled the ball miserably (24 turnovers to ISU’s eight). We looked like third graders at times handling the ball.”

Iowa State was able to withstand a game-opening 15-4 run  by KU and by halftime had matched the Jayhawks point for point, 36-36.

Senior guard DeAndre Kane (21 points) who played despite suffering a severe ankle sprain on Saturday at Oklahoma, hit a three-pointer over 7-footer Embiid to beat the halftime buzzer and tie the contest.

“All that did at the end of the first half was make it a 20-minute game. That’s what I told our guys,” Self said.

ISU in the first half survived miserable 2-of-13 three-point shooting, the 14-point onslaught of KU point guard Tharpe and the 12-rebound, 11-point performance of Wiggins

Wiggins had six points and Tharpe five in the 15-4 opening surge. A technical foul by Embiid, who pulled hard on Kane’s jersey, at 15:13, led to two free throws by Georges Niang and started a 14-5 run to cut the gap to 20-18 at 10:22.

The Jayhawks grabbed a 30-22 lead off a Tharpe three at 6:11. ISU, which had just two turnovers the first half, closed the half with a 14-6 surge.

KU will next meet Oklahoma State at 3 p.m., Saturday, in Allen.He didn’t quite match Elijah Johnson’s 39-point outing of a year ago.

But Kansas University junior Naadir Tharpe continued a two-year tradition of scoring from the point guard position in Hilton Coliseum, exploding for a career-high 23 points in Monday’s 77-70 victory over Iowa State.

“I thought he played great. He hit shots, was finding the open man. I think he was player of the game,” said KU freshman Andrew Wiggins, who was outstanding as well, grabbing 19 rebounds, one off KU’s freshman record of 20 set by Eric Chenowith against Texas A&M in 1998.

Tharpe — he scored 14 points the first half as the teams played to a 36-36 deadlock — hit seven of nine shots overall and was three of four from three. He also made six free throws in seven tries and had four assists against four turnovers with six rebounds in 36 minutes.

“I thought Naadir was terrific. He was fabulous,” said KU coach Bill Self. “He was good the whole game. Anytime anybody scores 23 on nine shots, he’s doing good things. I thought Naa gave us confidence, starting the second half to make a three out of post trap on the first possession ... it seems like a little thing, but next thing you know we are up seven.”

Indeed, Tharpe opened the scoring in the final half as (12-4, 3-0) KU eventually built a game-high lead of 12 points and was able to outlast an ISU team that fell to 14-2, 2-2.

Tharpe wore a red hat with the word “leaders” on it as he met media after the game. It’d be a good story if it’s because he’s a team leader. 

Instead “leaders” is a clothing line, the star of the game explained with a smile.

As far as trying to match his former teammate Johnson’s performance ... “Some people were talking on Twitter: ‘You are going to have another game like Elijah.’ It was nothing like Elijah did. It was more a team game,” Tharpe said.

Tharpe surpassed his previous scoring high of 20 points against Toledo on Dec. 30.

Monday’s scoring outburst came out of nowhere for the 5-foot-11 dynamo from Worcester, Mass.

“Coach told me at shoot-around .... I missed a lot of shots ... he said, ‘play with confidence and be aggressive,’’’ Tharpe said.

He hit two free throws at :46.9, stretching a 72-67 lead to 74-67, part of his six of seven deadeye performance from the line.

“It feels good. Coach always says, ‘Big time players play in the big games,’’’ Tharpe said. “I feel I played well. I had a couple bad turnovers. It’s part of basketball, too, you’ve got to think next play.”

KU freshman big man Joel Embiid also was huge for the Jayhawks, scoring six points in an 8-2 run that stretched a 56-51 lead to 64-53 at 7:52. Embiid had picked up a technical foul in the first half for pulling down on the jersey of DeAndre Kane.

Embiid had four points and two rebounds the first half. He finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and seven turnovers in 28 minutes.

“Coach told me to stay aggressive,” Embiid said of the halftime talk. “The past two games, I knew I had to play well for us to win. The second half I changed my mindset. I went like I’m used to. I got aggressive.”

As far as rebounder deluxe Wiggins, his 19 boards were most by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison had 19 against Duke in the 2003 NCAAs.

“We came out with a bang. We stayed aggressive,” said Wiggins, who said a talk with his dad stressed the importance of rebounding.

Another key to victory was Iowa State hit just four of 25 threes. KU cashed five of 16.

“This was one of our better road wins,” Self said. “We’re so fortunate because they missed shots. We defended them well, but they missed shots. We handled the ball miserably (24 turnovers to ISU’s eight). We looked like third graders at times handling the ball.”

Iowa State was able to withstand a game-opening 15-4 run  by KU and by halftime had matched the Jayhawks point for point, 36-36.

Senior guard DeAndre Kane (21 points) who played despite suffering a severe ankle sprain on Saturday at Oklahoma, hit a three-pointer over 7-footer Embiid to beat the halftime buzzer and tie the contest.

“All that did at the end of the first half was make it a 20-minute game. That’s what I told our guys,” Self said.

ISU in the first half survived miserable 2-of-13 three-point shooting, the 14-point onslaught of KU point guard Tharpe and the 12-rebound, 11-point performance of Wiggins

Wiggins had six points and Tharpe five in the 15-4 opening surge. A technical foul by Embiid, who pulled hard on Kane’s jersey, at 15:13, led to two free throws by Georges Niang and started a 14-5 run to cut the gap to 20-18 at 10:22.

The Jayhawks grabbed a 30-22 lead off a Tharpe three at 6:11. ISU, which had just two turnovers the first half, closed the half with a 14-6 surge.

KU will next meet Oklahoma State at 3 p.m., Saturday, in Allen. Self is hoping that game is a continuation of what he's seen of late in league play. The Jayhawks before, during and after Monday's game had smiles on their faces.

“Maybe they are growing up,” Self said of his young Jayhawks. “If you have followed our team closely, you can make a case this team enjoyed playing less than teams we’ve had. Since we’ve started conference play they are having as much fun as any team we’ve had. Maybe they are growing up, or saw the ball go in the hole. They are having fun right now.”

Comments

Eric Lee 3 months ago

First time poster here. Just wanted to say I am absolutely in love with that picture of Naadir Tharpe. Love the intensity in his eyes.

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Mike Riches 3 months ago

This is the eighth consecutive year that Kansas has started 3-0 in the Big 12, but this is the first year in that stretch that they have beaten 3 ranked teams to open up league play (KSU ranked last week and Oklahoma this week). Pretty dang good for a squad that lost all five starters from last year! With OSU and Baylor up next, the schedule only gets tougher...we will need every ounce of energy from fans in AFH.

24 turnovers and a win...what that means to me is this team isn't peaking yet, which is good, I want to see them peak in about two months from now!

The new-hero-every-night theme reminds me an awful lot of the 07-08 team.

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Tom Gillaspie 3 months ago

There were plenty of mistakes last night, as many here have identified. But, this is a team that is still finding it's identity. For me this is one of the most enjoyable, and at times frustrating, teams to watch that Kansas has put on the floor in a long time. So much potential still to be realized. I honestly don't think they know how good they could be - yet. If they figure that out and play accordingly - look out! As Bill Self might say, "God amighty", this is going to be fun. Rock Chalk, 3-0. Get ready for Okie State, we need to be louder than Hilton on Saturday.

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Jonathan Allison 3 months ago

Reggie and Erin,

What we are seeing is a team that has the potential #1 and #2 overall picks in the upcoming NBA draft and the makings of a potential national champion. This is a team which, if it starts hitting on all cylinders could win out the rest of the entire season. The only thing that this team lacks is the one thing that they get more of with every moment of every game.

In other words, this team is already really, really good, but also has SOO much room to improve. That's why people in this forum are talking about the turnovers, the fouls, and the misses just as much as the hits.

That "P" word contains all of our hopes and all of our frustrations (so far) about this team. Potential.

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Erin Troyer 3 months ago

My gosh...some of you people are just never happy. Those kids put together a win that...if we're honest....we kind of expected not to happen. Yet....here several of you are, picking apart the game. I have to wonder if you even enjoy the games. Seems like we have some chronic "glass half empty" folks posting here.

Lighten up, Francis!

WE WON THE STINKIN' GAME!

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Reggie Flenory 3 months ago

I find it interesting that after a great win all people are talkin about on here is what we didnt do well every team has weaknesses but we are improving wiggins is startimg to assert him self invarious different ways each game not just on the scorimg end naadir is making plays from the point and when he does that we are hard to beat wayne is solid (and drops the prettiest dimes in the league relax people ROCK CHALK

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Taylor Witt 3 months ago

"As far as rebounder deluxe Wiggins, his 19 boards were most by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison had 19 against Duke in the 2003 NCAAs."

Not quite.

http://statsheet.com/mcb/games/stats/players?season1=2003&season2=2013&conf=&team=kansas&stat=rebounds_total

This is a list of the most rebounds by a KU player in the Bill Self Era. 5 games of 20 boards, including TRob's 21 against North Dakota on New Years Eve 2011.

But Wiggins is still the man!

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Benz Junque 3 months ago

KU wasn't lights out from the floor, shooting 50%. That's good but not insanely hot. They didn't hit a ton of three or a high percentage of the ones they attempted. They didn't shoot great, or often, from the free throw line. ISU led the free throw attempts 34-19 and 6 of KU's attempts came in the last 47 seconds on intentional fouls. They lost the turnover battle by an alarming 24-7. their opponent was not missing any players.

And yet, they were by far the best team on the floor agauinst a Top 10 team and won very comfortably on the road in one of the toughest road environments in the country with fans who have been DYING for their team to get revenge against us and who hate us as a program more than any other. KU is improving right before our eyes and will hopefully only continue to do so. they can still play a LOT better than what we saw last night. Anyone who thinks there is some type of ceiling to what this team can accomplish this year is nuts.

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Benz Junque 3 months ago

Ku needs to get those turnovers cleaned up. And I would like to see Selden get back to being a little mroe aggressive. I am not sure who was guarding him most of the night but he didn't seem to be attacking the rim as much. For him, it seems that if he doesn't see one of his first few shots go down then he kind of fades into a secondary role. Maybe I am just not remembering well.

All in all, we'll take it. But they still need to play better to beat Okie State this Saturday.

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Chris Shaw 3 months ago

Wiggins: All over the Boards!!!!!!!!Love seeing Wiggins active and doing some dirty work. 17 and 19 is a pretty stellar game. You could actually see Wiggins having some fun out there. He is usually pretty stoic in his demeanor, but you could see he was enjoying himself out there last night.

I mentioned this during the game thread, but anybody else notice how much of a two footed jumper Wiggins is? From my experience you are always a half step slower to the rim being a two footed jumper. He will jump off one ocassionally like he did on that dunk attempt he got fouled on, but he usually has to gather himself and jump off two. Jordan could do both, but all the greats are primarily one footed jumpers. Just an observation and something I noticed.

Selden: I like the fact Selden played within himself last night. He knocked down a few timely shots, but while he wasn't impacting the team from a scoring standpoint...he was making plays for others and distributing the baskeball as his 6 assists indicated. That one handed pass to Ellis for a dunk was sweet. I really like the passion Selden is showing out there. His attitude has been infectious through the first 3 conference games.

Ellis: Man he's Jekyll and Hyde. Need a little more consistency out of Ellis. I will say he did have a couple of huge buckets when the game got tight despite him struggling last night. That does show toughness. I wish he was better passing out of the double team.

Bench: Not much production from the bench tonight, which may not be bad at this moment in the season. Traylor drives me nuts sometimes out there. You never know what he's gonna do. He can make a spectacular play only to turn around and just hand the ball off to the opponent.

As I said above, Black had that nice bucket out of the double team. I seriously thought Black got more then 5 minutes. Black is also up and down, but nobody can question his attitude this year. He's been magnificent IMO with his positive attitude towards this team this year. He may not realize it, but little stuff like that will get him a professional contract somewhere.

Finally, 15 more to go for 10 straight.

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Chris Shaw 3 months ago

BigManU Observation and Notes:

What a great win for Kansas on the road against a really good Iowa State squad. The thing I am loving most about the last 3 games is that Kansas is finally starting to show some "Swag" out there. They are finally starting to have some fun!

I am really really glad Iowa State had an off shooting night. We all know Iowa State shoots a lot of 3's, but they did miss a lot of open looks.

Tharpe: Tharpe is playing like I envisioned him playing all along. Yes, he was on fire last night, but what I loved about Tharpe last night was that he was making an extra pass within the half court set swinging the ball across court to wide open Selden and Wiggins.

Tharpe as on fire as he was even passed up a wide open look to give it to Embiid in the short corner only to have Embiid travel. I mean, who would have thought Self would have ever had to tell Tharpe to shoot the ball in that situation. I found that pretty funny.

Tharpe is playing within himself and making really good decsions thus far 3 games into conference play. It's amzing to me posters are still giving him grief out there. PG's make plays and they are going to have turnovers from time to time. I actually saw Naadir Tharpe last night showing some "Swag" which is a big bonus to this team IMO. First time all season I've seen it. He has 14 assists to 5 turnovers in 3 conference games. That is pretty darn good all the while shooting 13-23 from the Field.

Embiid: I love his passion out there, but he needs to curtail the extracurricular activity. Embiid put on a show last night in the second half. I know I mentioned this last game against KSU, but the growth in just 8 days since SDSU passing out of the double team is amazing.

All the big's outside of Ellis are getting doubled...taking a dribble to release that pressure, but they are keeping their dribble and reposting. Black had a great move with a left hand layup after keeping his dribble out of the double. Embiid has completely pulled a Jeff Withey on me. I never want Embiid out of the game. He's still going to make some bonehead mistakes from time to time, but he's fully gained my trust.

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Jonathan Allison 3 months ago

With our next two games we have a good chance to put a little distance between us and our chief competition in the league.

Don't celebrate too hard, we've gotta prepare for OSU and Baylor.

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Rodney Crain 3 months ago

A road win in conference is rarely easy against a ranked team and are usually close. ISU would typically make a team pay for 24 turnovers, but it was their own poor shooting combined with getting out rebounded that did them in. They never seemed in control even with 9 more chances, and 15 more free throws. They make just 3 more shots and it is a very different game, or outcome.

I want to keep seeing improvement and although not a great game statistically, the last time the stat sheet looked like this in FL we were never really in the game and lost. We did not play our best game but found a way to win on the road. That is a big positive step.

We did enough good things to win we take it and move on.

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Waylon Cook 3 months ago

You get a warm fuzzy feeling beating ISU in Hilton.

I find the comment of "these guys weren't having fun playing, now they are" from Self as a very telling tale. I have thought from the get go this was going to have to be a team Self just let score and the D would get better. Seems since the SDSU loss that is what is happening.

Seriously Big 12 watch out.

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Ron Franklin 3 months ago

the story repeats definitely repeats itself.

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Titus Canby 3 months ago

Any Weatherwax sighting last night?

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Tony Bandle 3 months ago

As I predicted....3 down, 15 to go!! Have faith Hawks fans. Watching this team grow is like watching a movie in fast forward.

Jo Jo is on another level already with only three and a half seasons under his belt. Gosh I wish he'd stay one more year.

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Doug Merrill 3 months ago

Mine also starts over again with a paragraph left. Maybe it is because I am on Safari though, something I use so I don't have to deal with the idiotic ad questions. They get you either way!

I think those who are "still seeing chinks in the armor" are simply seeing a young team who found a way to win in a really, really hostile environment against a team inspired by an incredible "Big 12 player of the week" performance by Kane. What a player to have accomplished all he did while so hurt. ISU missed a lot of shots but if KU hadn't rebounded so well, we wouldn't have won. Turnovers happen on the road in tough locations. This stat shows how incredibly well they played the first half in Norman. That should get better. However, last night's win was huge and to cavil about what they didn't do misses the point. RCJH!

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Matt Spitzli 3 months ago

Formatting is screwed up. The story starts over half way down the page. "KU will next meet Oklahoma State at 3 p.m., Saturday, in Allen.He didn’t quite match Elijah Johnson’s 39-point outing of a year ago." Surely I'm not the only one who has caught this!

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Luca Rossi 3 months ago

Yes its great that KU won last night. Yes its great that KU is 3-0 in conference.
However I still see big holes in this team's armor. I believe Iowa State lost the game much more than I think KU won it. Iowa State's three point shooting was putrid. That was probably the worst shooting performance they will have all year. It would be one thing if KU was bothering their shots and playing good D but it looked to me like they were missing a lot of open threes.

Even with the poor shooting, they still had a chance down the stretch because of a big flaw I see with KU. They do not do a good job closing out games. It bit them last year in the Michigan game. I can't understand why the KU players keep trying to force quick shots when they are up 8 pts with 4 minutes left. Tharpe finally slowed things down a little bit once it got to the two minute mark but I believe it should've started with 5 minutes to go when they were up around 9 pts. Use a full clock and don't give the opponent so many chances to get back into the game. There were several times where ISU had a three pointer on the way that would have cut the lead to 3 or 4 pts in the last couple minutes but missed every time. Michigan hit those shots.

Also, KU is notorious for double digit turnovers. It seems like every game they have more turnovers than the opponent. Even twice as many, often finishing with 20+. Imagine if they could cut that number to less than 10.

So in summary, I kindof think KU got lucky last night. Poor shooting by ISU, didn't salt away the game down the stretch, and had 24 turnovers. We'll take the big win but hopefully they see on film that there's a lot of improvement needed if they want to have a chance to hang another banner.

RockkChalkk

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Dirk Medema 3 months ago

Wiggs spent several minutes laughing at ISU before the last inbounds play. With less than 20 seconds, KU had gotten a bit lazy and someone was wide open under the basket. Should have been an easy bunny - except that Wiggs EMPHATICALLY stuffed. No free points. They are really starting to embrace the hustle and D - none more than Wiggs, who finally seems to have convinced coach to let him have the other teams top player. As a whole, the team probably still miss the 40 minute intensity and a bit of the muscle ball, but they are really starting to embrace Self's (desired) identity for the team.

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Suzi Marshall 3 months ago

All aboard! The Jayhawk Express is pulling out and bound for GLORY!!!!

Kansas waltzed into Ames and played appalling ball with 24 TO, 26 PF, and a poor performance by Ellis. The turnover numbers are a joke…. Embiid 7, Wiggins 6, Tharpe 4. ISU 12 steals to our 4. We let them shoot 34 FT to our 19. Gave up 16 O-Rebs. All that and we still win the game.

ISU’s atrocious shooting combined with our outstanding board work (Wiggins - 19 boards) gave us an absolute steal of a HUGE game.

Wins the next two home games vs. OSU and Baylor will put a major hurt on the Big 12. Here we go...RCJH!!!!

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