Kansas defeats Iowa State, 62-61

  • 7 p.m., Jan. 11, 2022
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Dajuan Harris’ tough layup in final seconds leads No. 9 Kansas past No. 15 Iowa State

Kansas guard Dajuan Harris Jr. (3) heads off the court after sinking Iowa State with a final bucket with seconds remaining on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Dajuan Harris Jr. (3) heads off the court after sinking Iowa State with a final bucket with seconds remaining on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.


An already tough task of taking down the nation’s 15th-ranked team became decidedly more difficult, both before and during Tuesday’s Kansas basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse.

But after a sluggish start and a halftime deficit, the ninth-ranked Jayhawks proved they were up to the challenge, winning 62-61 in a thriller.

Sophomore guard Dajuan Harris Jr. hit an off-balance, driving layup inside of 10 seconds to play and the Jayhawks survived a 3-point attempt at the buzzer by ISU senior Gabe Kalscheur.

Kalscheur’s miss set off a wild celebration that spilled onto the court and could be heard and felt in all four corners of the venue.

Asked about his emotions after the victory, Harris shrugged and said simply, “I haven’t hit a game winner in so long.”

Asked if he was looking to be the hero when he caught the pass from senior guard Ochai Agbaji, who started the action by driving to the rim, Harris laughed and said: “There was five seconds left; I had to do something with it.”

KU (13-2 overall, 2-1 Big 12) led for most of the second half, but fell behind by a point (59-58) in the final minute on a second-chance, scramble jumper by Caleb Grill with 36 seconds to play. KU trailed again, two possessions later, after a jumper in transition by Izaiah Brockington that put Iowa State ahead in with 15.6 seconds left.

Two free throws by Agbaji erased one of the deficits and the falling-down-layup on a drive to his right by Harris proved to be the game winner.

All of that — and so much that came before it — came with senior guard Remy Martin out because of continued soreness in his right knee.

Freshman forward Zach Clemence showed up in a walking boot during the pregame warm-up and also did not play. And senior guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, who started the second half against his old teammates in Iowa State red went to the locker room midway through the second half after taking an elbow to the head on a flagrant foul.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Jayhawks started both halves with freshman forward KJ Adams making his first career start and holding down the 5 position.

“Our team just needs to piece it together right now until we figure out how we’re going to play,” Kansas coach Bill Self said after the victory. “But the guys hung in there and fought. I’m proud of them.”

Agbaji led all scorers with 22 points and said KU’s ability to pull out the hard-fought victory against a tenacious Cyclones squad was a prime example of what KU preaches day in and day out.

“Next man up mentality,” he said.

Junior Christian Braun, who finished with 13 points, said Tuesday’s victory was a perfect look at what Kansas can do.

“I think we’ve got a bunch of different looks we can put on the court,’ Braun said. “Defensively, I think we just turned it up a little bit (in the second half) and that’s what it takes to get wins in conference play.”

In the first half, it was Iowa State’s intensity that stole the show. The Cyclones (13-3, 1-3) led 19-10 early and still by five late in the half. But KU finished with a 3-pointer by Agbaji that cut the deficit to 33-31 at the break and then used a 12-2 run early in the second half to take control.

Iowa State closed the game with a series of gritty plays that led to points, but Kansas found a way to make sure those came in a losing effort.

“We guarded them really well in the second half and they made every shot,” Self said. “But we did enough and we hung in there.”

Tuesday’s victory came on a night when No. 19 Texas Tech knocked off No. 1 Baylor in Waco, giving the Bears’ their first conference loss and bringing KU back into a tie in the loss column atop the Big 12 standings.

Although they’re still just three games into what promises to be a grinder of an 18-game conference slate, Agbaji said Tuesday’s win was significant.

“It’s just good to be back in the race,” he said.

Added Self, when asked about his postgame conversation with first-year ISU coach T.J. Otzelberger: “I've known T.J. a long time. He’s done a great job there. It was just a good game. I asked him, ‘Who you got next?’ I think he said Texas (and I said), ‘This league is no joke.’”

Next up, Kansas will welcome West Virginia to Lawrence for a 1 p.m. tipoff on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.


Barry Weiss 7 months ago

wow, what a game! Not great the way we played those last two minutes, but a win is a win. With Baylor losing at home to Tech, it makes our loss to Tech not so bad. The B12 is tough!

Tony Bandle 7 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Gosh, Roy looked old.

2] WOW!! 16,000 plus wearing masks all at the same time. No wonder it wasn't quite as loud as usual.

3] We're gonna get killed in Hilton!

4] Not pretty but it's a "W" on the score sheet.

5] I know Big Mac made a dumb play at the end but he did have several blocks and big rebounds as did Mitch but, geez, it would be nice to get something out of the 5 spot offensively.

6] At least the intensity was there.....if we had played like that we would have creamed Dayton and maybe edged TexTech.

7] This season's Big 12 is shaping up to be a BEAST!!!!! Four games in and everybody has at least one loss!

8] Just an aside, but maybe the pandemonium that the NCAA is going through will let the KU thing be lost in the shuffle!! We can only hope.

Dale Rogers 7 months ago

1) just an fyi, Roy is 71 years old.

Rodney Crain 7 months ago

Agree on Roy Tony. I was not prepared to see him look like that. I hope this trip was not to say a final farewell to his friends in Lawrence.

I think it was so quiet due to the fans in being in disbelief to what they were seeing. ISU is good but we were asking to get beat tonight.

Marty Sedlacek 7 months ago

ISU with their 23rd straight B12 road loss. How they have fallen.

Bob Zielinski 7 months ago

Iowa State has some nice wins this season, Otzelberger is an excellent coach. They have faced a pretty stiff lineup of conference games so far.

Bryce Landon 7 months ago

It's 11:11 PM EST here in Indiana, and I'm still trying to catch my breath and get my heart to slow down after this one. That finish was unbelievable. Those two teams really gave everything they had.

Some positives:

1) DaJuan Harris was a man tonight. Instead of getting scared or playing sped up, he put his head down, manned the hell up, and delivered when KU needed it most.

2) I gained more respect for Ochai Agbaji. On the ESPN+Plus broadcast, he mentioned that he re-taught himself French during the pandemic. Not only has he developed himself physically, but he has developed himself mentally as well. To learn a new language once is tough enough; to re-learn it is special. I've never learned French once, let alone twice. Way to go, Ochai, you will be successful in whatever you do!

3) It's good to have Roy Williams back in Allen Fieldhouse. He should be welcome here whenever he wants.

4) We were fortunate to win, considering David McCormack got away with goaltending during the last three minutes of the game. If the ref had seen that and called it, we'd be having a very different conversation.

5) Iowa State lost. As the world's biggest ISU hater, I'd rather crush them by 30 each time we play, but seeing them so dejected when they miss a buzzer-beating game winner gives me a deep sense of schadenfreude. Whenever Iowa State loses, America wins!

Now for some negatives:

1) In back-to-back games, a veteran coach who is in his 19th season at KU is getting outworked by coaches who are in their first seasons with their programs. Both Texas Tech and Iowa State were well prepared, and we looked disinterested and dull the entire TTU game and the first half of the ISU game. That's a reflection of the opposing coach, who cares more, and our coach, who had the look of "couldn't-be-arsed" during the timeouts he called in the first half. I guess that's what a undeserved lifetime contract does to a coach, doesn't it? Bill Self is losing his touch. It would really be nice to have some fresh blood leading this program, a coach with fire in his belly such as what T.J. Otzelberger demonstrated tonight.

2) Speaking of T.J. Otzelberger, I'm displeased that the refs didn't whistle him for a technical foul for coming as far onto the court as he did. There's being passionate and having fire in his belly, and then there's disregarding the coaching box.

3) It's so galling to see Tristan Enaruna, or as I like to call him, "Traitor Tristan", in the cardinal and gold of Iowa State.

4) I'm so sick of having trouble beating Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse. I wish they would suck as bad as they sucked last season.

5) The mask mandate for Allen Fieldhouse. Wearing a mask or getting the vaccine should be a personal decision left to each individual, not a decision made for you by a high-handed bureaucrat. Whatever happened to "My body, my choice"? Or does that only apply to women who want to murder their unborn babies?

Steve Zimmerman 7 months ago

This: I guess that's what a undeserved lifetime contract does to a coach, doesn't it?

Matt, kusports staff, I challenge you all to bring this topic - I'm not the only one who wants to know, but let's hear from KU's big sponsors.

Lee Short 7 months ago

Bryce, the refs also called and over and back when clearly Iowa State pushed our player in mid-air over the mid-point. No over-and-back should have been called and probably another foul and Iowa State should have been.

That's the problem with noting one bad call cost the game. You have to look at the total game context, I believe, in assessing the role refer inaccurate calls/no calls had in the game.

Micky Baker 7 months ago

My thoughts as well. The calls the refs make are not in our control. There have been some close games we lost in the past because we didn't make our freethrows or the players got lazy with the ball like against Tech when they stole the inbounds pass right after they scored, and got a 2-for.

RJ King 7 months ago

Bryce - As usual, your negativity outweighs the positive.

1) If you had your way several years ago, KU would probably be right in the middle of a 10 million dollar buy-out of the contract of Gregg Marshall.

3) Childish nicknames are so revealing. They sound like something needed to build oneself up by tearing others down.

5) It is simply NOT "your body, your choice." Making is not FOR YOU ... it is for the person next to you, accross from you, behind you. You can smoke too. Just not next to me in a crowded indoor setting. What is it about this concept that is so incredibly difficult for you to understand???

Steve Zimmerman 7 months ago

Ochai shows flashes of how good & more productive in scoring he can be if he's that aggressive, with sound judgement and willing to use his bball IQ. Good win alright. But that's not good enough to win B12 or tourn.

Our offense is still very risky with lots of ball passing while running plus the continuous embarrassment from our 5s: can't even set screens - yes, this has been my feedback to KU coaching staff from 3-4 years back. Up till now, Mitch & McCormack still don't know how to set screen right (and they don't seem to know how to use the screen right) -- pathetic coaching!!!!!

Bounce pass is very very common these days, but yet Bobby's beautiful pass is a TO, instead. That shows our team is not well equipped with these kinds of effective plays.

Jack Krebs 7 months ago

To Bryce Landon: yes it's your choice to not wear a mask. But if you, or anyone, chooses to go into Allen Field House, then it is also your choice to abide by the mask rules.Those rules are there to help protect of all the other people there. If you don't like that, or think it's unnecessary, then be prepared to live with the consequences. It's perfectly possible to live life without a mask or a vaccine, but private organizations and various governmental bodies have the right to make rules that might reduce some of your opportunities. Live with you choices.

It's probably better to just talk basketball here.

Michael Leiker 7 months ago

It's ok to disagree with the policies too. Especially when they're as ridiculous as to claim (as the announcer did multiple times last night) that everyone is "safe" because people sitting next to each other for 2.5-3 hours had a piece of cloth over their mouths. Fans did a nice job of complying, saw one guy get kicked out, another one or two play games with the crowd service employee. But, for an institution whose main responsibility is to teach people how to think critically to pound it in everyone's head that wearing a mask will "keep us all safe" is somewhat of a dereliction of duty as well. It was funny, the announcer seemed to be very slightly mocking what he was saying when he was making the announcements, like he was trying not to laugh.

Now if they were to hand out N95s to everyone as they enter, or just say that they're doing it so everyone feels comfortable to attend, that would be able to be taken seriously.

Telling someone they need to "live with their choices" but not being willing to tell the other side (those insisting that everyone do things they may not want to do so you can feel safe) that they need to live with the consequences of their choices (going to a basketball game during a pandemic) is ridiculous as well.

Michael Leiker 7 months ago

Want to add as well, doesn't bother me at all to wear one, no problem.

Sae Thirtysix 7 months ago

ML is correct.

Ring in the new year with a fictional account of COVID-19, just like those peddled the year before, claiming, 'This continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated.'

Omicron variant is hitting hardest those who live in states with high vaccination rates — and high rates of masking.

So with COVID now being disproportionately caught and according to the CDC distributed by the masked and vaccinated, what’s the justification for mask and vax mandates?

Eventually, Omicron will move to even the most rural areas, at which point the claim will be it is spreading there because people aren’t sufficiently masked or vaccinated. (right comrade?)

In other words, this isn’t about public health; it’s about institutional paternalism.

HYN, thrice vaxed, RCJ lovin’ - great Clone win - bring on Huggie!!

Rodney Crain 7 months ago

LOL - Got to hand it to you Sae you never disappoint with you misguided posts.

Mallory Briggans 7 months ago

The funniest moment to me was when we got down early and had several turnovers in the first half Self who had been wearing a mask up to that point snatched his mask off and folded it up. Guess dog-cussing his players is less effective with a mask on.

And didnt the Iowa State coach look more like a wrestling coach than a basketball coach. We're 3-0 against players that were on last years KU team

3 points from JCL 1 point from Mccormack 4 points from Wilson All 3 had breakout games and none of them did much their next game thats a problem

Glad to see Pettiford back but not the turnovers .Self didnt quite keep his word in regards to Yesufu said Yesufu would get Pettifords minutes while he was out ,didnt happen I dont see Yesufu coming back

RJ King 7 months ago

Mallory - We were calling the ISU coach, "Coach Biff" (from Back to the Future)

JCL contributed 2 more pts on the free throws by DeJaun after the flagrant. Who knows what else he may or may not have done in the 2nd half?

Rodney Crain 7 months ago

It must still be the 12 days of Christmas the way we keep giving out turnovers. I picked 7 games that we could lose before the B12 tournament. We have lost 1 of those so far. Tonight gave me no reason to think any different. We could be sitting with 8 total losses by then if we keep playing like this.

Bryce - love you man, but Jack is right on the mask mandates. The majority of people, and most people in both parties support mask mandates during a covid surge. This is true worldwide as well. The reduction of choices he talks about has been quietly and publicly happening for the last 2 months.

Regarding your comparison at the end of your post I was disappointed.

Micky Baker 7 months ago

On the mask mandates, I do not have a problem with them. As far as them being particularly effective, that is something that is difficult to prove one way or another because there are no statistics on those who have gotten COVID regarding wearing masks or not. The mask itself can collect the virus and then they can take it back home with them. Probably a good idea for there to be mask collection bins for after the game for people to dispose of them as they leave. With that said, everyone has a right to their opinion and to express it openly.

Now to the game. I was not able to watch much of it as I was working during the game. The one thing I will say is that not one bad call by a ref costs a team a game. Every team has to overcome them in every single game. It is just a fact of life as long as refs are considered human. The mistakes we need to worry about are those that the players make, which will happen but can be corrected through coaching or individual accountability by the players themselves. Here is another thing. We shot 30% from beyond the Arc, well below our average. With just one more made, it would be 35%, 2 more would be 40% right at our average, and the game would not come down to a final second layup. The 16 turnovers didn't help either. Limit that to 10, and combine that with better shooting and we win by double digits. There are other things that can we can get better at, but those two things would have made it a different outcome, maybe not such a thrilling of an ending however.

Robert Brock 7 months ago

Don’t wear your masks. Let Chancellor Girod clear out the crowd at Allen Fieldhouse. It’s better when its quiet. Thanks.


Scott Drew

Blake Brown 7 months ago

It's great to win a game when we do not play all that well and it's clear we did not for the most part. The first part of the game was woeful offensively and we made rote passes with the defense in the path. We never did figure out how to protect under the basket when they had the ball out of bounds and they missed many passes of their guys wide open after already finding a couple. We definitely caught a break on the missed goal tend and thankfully for D-mac, {and us} it was not called. The way we are going now, it looks like it's another 3-4 weeks from actually figuring out who can do what and get it together as a team. Every game looks challenging no matter who we play. I'm keeping the faith. Thanks Dajuan for saving us. Now for Huggy Bear. Rock Chalk

Notice. I did not mention the insult to Jayhawk nation of having to watch the game on ESPN+

Clarence Haynes 7 months ago

Maybe Big Mac needs to be hypnotized!

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