No. 11 Iowa State beats 9th-ranked Kansas 86-81
AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State sent a clear message to Kansas and the rest of the Big 12: The Cyclones aren’t about to let the Jayhawks breeze to an 11th straight league title.
In fact, Iowa State is ready to make its own run at the championship.
Naz Long scored 20 points and 11th-ranked Iowa State held off No. 9 Kansas 86-81 on Saturday night, recording back-to-back wins over the Jayhawks for the first time in 14 years.
Georges Niang had 15 points for the Cyclones (13-3, 3-1 Big 12), who shot 9 of 20 on 3s in snapping Kansas’ five-game winning streak.
”To win 10 straight is just an amazing accomplishment. In order for us to compete with them for the league championship, we had to win this game,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
The Cyclones came somewhat close to blowing it though.
Long followed a long 3 with a layup to give Iowa State a 71-57 lead with 6:26 left. But the Cyclones allowed Kansas to pull to 82-79 before Niang sealed the win by drawing a crucial charge with 14 seconds left.
Frank Mason III scored 21 points and Perry Ellis had 19 with 11 rebounds for Kansas (14-3, 3-1), the last team in the Big 12 to lose a conference game.
This was perhaps the most highly anticipated home game of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg’s five-year tenure in Ames.
The Cyclones didn’t disappoint.
After a back-and-forth first half, Iowa State pushed its lead to 51-39 and seemed poised for a blowout win. But the Jayhawks responded with 10 points in four minutes to keep their hopes alive.
That’s when Iowa State’s Jameel McKay took over.
McKay had three buckets in 81 seconds – including an alley-oop dunk over Landen Lucas – and his block set up a Niang 3 that put the Cyclones back in front 66-55.
Kansas coach Bill Self burned so many timeouts trying to slow down the fast-paced Cyclones that he had had none left for the final 6:26.
”He can really run,” Self said of McKay. ”I thought he did a good job of protecting the rim, too.”
McKay scored 11 points with three blocks and Monte Morris had 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for Iowa State, which allowed the Jayhawks to hang around until the very end by hitting just 10 of 18 free throws in the second half.
”It’s very satisfying. It really is,” Long said.
Iowa State: The last team to beat the Cyclones at home besides Kansas was Missouri in 2012. The last current league member to do it was Kansas State in 2011, Hoiberg’s first season. Iowa State beat Kansas 79-77 and 79-71 in 2001 and then defeated the Jayhawks just twice in a span of 13 years.
Kansas: Mason came down with a rebound with 13:40 left clutching his right leg. Mason had to be helped to the locker room, but he quickly re-entered the lineup. He finished 8 of 14 from the floor despite what Self said was a leg cramp.
As a freshman in 2012-13, Niang was called for a late foul against Kansas that many felt should have been a charge. Kansas forced overtime with the ensuing free throws and eventually won, 108-96. Niang’s drawn charge Saturday happened on nearly the exact same spot on the floor and came less than a minute after Long also drew a charge. ”That game was certainly not over. So for those guys to step up and make big defensive plays was obviously a key,” Hoiberg said.
”I think the environment got us in our minds where we sped up or what not. Where we didn’t focus and execute very well,” Self on playing in Hilton Coliseum, one of the Big 12’s louder gyms.
Kansas: hosts Oklahoma on Monday.
Iowa State: hosts Kansas State on Tuesday.
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