Selden’s second half enough for No. 9 Kansas against No. 15 Iowa State
Now that Missouri has bid farewell and joined the Southeastern Conference, a new archrival is emerging for Kansas. Its name is Iowa State.
The 223rd consecutive sellout in historic Allen Fieldhouse was definitely louder for the Cyclones on Monday night than it was two days earlier when Kansas State came calling.
When the No. 8 Jayhawks got hot in the second half and raced to an 89-76 victory over the 11th-ranked Cyclone team that handed them a road loss the month before, the windows seemed to rattle in this 60-year-old arena.
Wayne Selden Jr., who scored 19 of his 20 points in the second half, admitted he’d been "haunted" by the 86-81 loss back on Jan. 17.
The pain persisted "that day, that whole next day. Maybe a little bit after," said Selden. "We had to get onto the next (game). But a sense of urgency came back when we knew we had them next."
Selden, after missing all three of his shots and scoring only one point in the first half, drilled four of his first five 3-pointers after intermission, often finding himself virtually unguarded on the right wing, as the Jayhawks (19-3, 8-1 Big 12) padded their lead in the Big 12 race to 1 games.
Georges Niang had 24 points for Iowa State (16-5, 6-3), which dropped out of a second-place tie with West Virginia.
Making sure to give Kansas State plenty of respect, Kansas coach Bill Self agreed the Cyclones, at least for now, are quicker than just about anyone to get Jayhawk blood boiling. The Cyclones were gunning for their third straight victory over Kansas `I think it’s cyclical. But right now, for sure," said Self. "Right now, the way it sits, K-State would be our biggest rival but you could make a case that Iowa State has emerged as our other rival. Certainly the last couple of years, without question."
Despite success at home in the Big 12 tournament against Kansas in recent years, the Cyclones have lost 10 straight in Allen Fieldhouse.
"What has Bill lost in this building, nine times?" said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. "It’s tougher than hell to walk out of this building with a win."
Leading 35-28 after a seesaw first half, the Jayhawks reeled off a 14-6 run the first 4 minutes, 45 seconds after intermission, with Selden scoring eight points, including two uncontested 3-pointers. Iowa State called time out and tried to regroup after Selden’s second 3-pointer put Kansas on top 49-34. But unable to stop Kansas’ transition game, the Cyclones never got the lead under nine points.
"Selden was great," Hoiberg said. "You have to take your hat off to him. He hit some tough shots. He hit a couple where I didn’t think our urge3ncy was good enough."
Perry Ellis’s three-point play gave the Jayhawks breathing room at 77-63 with less than 3 minutes left. Ellis had 17 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 16 for the Jayhawks, who are gunning for their 11th straight Big 12 title.
Bryce Dejean-Jones had 14 points for Iowa State and Monte Morris had 12.
Niang’s steal and Jameel McKay’s dunk sliced the lead briefly to single-digits at 54-45 but Kansas scored the next seven points, four on Oubre’s baskets and three on a shot by Selden, who was 5 for 7 from behind the arc.
Kansas: The Jayhawks are 91-15 all-time at home against Iowa State but the Cyclones are responsible for three of Kansas’ nine home losses since the Big 12 opened play in 1996-97. With 12 points, Frank Mason recorded his 19th straight double-digit game.
Iowa State: The Cyclones were held four points below their league-leading scoring average. They now have at least 15 assists in all but five games. Cyclones had a 41-38 rebound edge.
Kansas: In regular-season play, No Bill Self Kansas team has been beaten twice by the same team in the regular season. The Jayhawks had five players in double figures and 22 assists, five more than the Cyclones, who came into the game leading the conference in assists
Iowa State: Iowa State’s first-half shooting of 35 percent was its lowest of the season. With nine rebounds, Bryce Dejean-Jones led both teams. But the Cyclones had five players with at least five, as did Kansas.
"’Kansas played a great basketball game. This building explodes when they get those points in transition" said Hoiberg.
Kansas is at Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Iowa State hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.