Kansas University basketball signees Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre will play in the 2014 McDonald’s All-America game on April 2 in Chicago’s United Center. By Gary Bedore
Andrew Wiggins, Naadir Tharpe and Perry Ellis discuss home win vs. ISU
Iowa State shot much better against Kansas this time around, but Kansas fought off several Cyclones charges in the final 30 minutes to win, 92-81, and improve to 16-4 overall and 7-0 in Big 12 play. By Matt Tait
Bill Self discusses KU's home win over Iowa State
Iowa State's Georges Niang, DeAndre Kane and Fred Hoiberg credit KU for strong showing in 92-81 win.
No matter how hot your primary scorer might sizzle — and make no mistake, Andrew Wiggins played a terrific game Monday night versus Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse — you don’t consistently win tough games without a tough point guard steering it to the finish line. Junior Naadir Tharpe, Kansas University’s first-year starter, has blossomed into just that. By Tom Keegan
By Matt Tait --- email@example.com ---
In the beginning, it looked like it might be easy, as the Jayhawks built a 16-point lead 10 minutes into the game and had everything clicking.
In the end, though, Iowa State refused to go away and made Kansas fight for a 92-81 victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
Andrew Wiggins was by far the star of the game, as he poured in a career-high 29 points and exploded for six straight points around the 3:00-mark to push a slim 75-72 KU lead to 81-72 with 2:47 to play.
Wiggins, who made 10 of 16 shots, including 4 of 6 from three-point range, had 12 points in the first half and finished with seven rebounds.
Not far behind him was the offensive output of Perry Ellis, who finished with 20 points after dropping 15 in the first half.
Naadir Tharpe also added 12 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds, despite shooting just 3-of-7 from the floor.
The victory, Kansas' seventh in a row, improves KU to 16-4 overall and 7-0 in Big 12 play. Iowa State falls to 15-4 and 3-4 in Big 12 games.
Here’s a quick look back at some of Wednesday's action:
• The game turned when: KU responded to the Cyclones' tying the game on the first possession of the second half with an 11-0 run. Wiggins had five, Selden three and Ellis two during the stretch that allowed Kansas to maintain its lead throughout the second half.
• Offensive highlight: After a missed jumper by Kansas on a second-chance opportunity midway through the first half, Wayne Selden made sure there was a third opportunity on the trip when he swooped in and stole an offensive rebound behind the Cyclones and flipped it to Ellis for the easy bucket. It was a bang-bang-bang sort of play, and one that showed that the Jayhawks were playing at least a step ahead of the Cyclones from the jump.
• Defensive highlight: With 17:45 to play in the first half and Iowa State still trying to find its rhythm, the Cyclones had a two-on-one fast break that looked destined to become easy points. But when Naz Long floated an alley-oop pass to the rim from just outside the paint, he must not have expected KU's Wayne Selden to intercept the pass. Selden did, though, racing back from mid-court to swipe the lob out of mid-air. You don't see that every day. Another highlight belonged to Landen Lucas, who barely had to jump but got his hand just in the right spot to knock away a layup try by Iowa State's Dustin Hogue midway through the first half.
• Key stat: Second-chance points. Sparked by six offensive rebounds in the first few minutes of the game, the Jayhawks outscored ISU 19-4 in second-chance points, a huge stat when you consider how tight this thing was down the stretch. Runner-up tonight would have to be KU out-shooting the Cyclones from three-point land again. KU hit 10 of 22 for the game (45 percent) and ISU knocked in 10 of 25 (39 percent).
• Up next: The Jayhawks will head out onto the road for the next two games, starting with Saturday's 3 p.m. tip-off at Texas. After that, they'll play Baylor at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 before returning home to face West Virginia at 3 p.m. on Feb. 8.