Alison Lacey scored 22 points and Anna Prins added 12 as No. 15 Iowa State edged upset-minded Kansas 57-54 on Thursday night.
With Iowa State (21-5, 9-4 Big 12) clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute, Kansas' Nicollette Smith threw the ball into the hands of the Cyclones' Chelsea Poppens. Lacey was handed the ball by Poppens and was fouled with 6.5 seconds left before making two free throws to give the Cyclones a 57-54 lead.
Monica Engelman rushed the ball up the court, but her tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer misfired.
In search of their first victory in seven tries against ranked opponents, Kansas (15-11, 5-8) shot 45 percent to keep the game close. But the Jayhawks couldn't overcome the Cyclones' tough defense down the stretch, scoring just two points in the final 3:16.
Carolyn Davis scored 17 points, Engelman added 15 and Sade Morris chipped in 14 to lead Kansas.
After Engelman made two free throws with 3:16 left, Kansas led 52-48 - its largest advantage in the second half. But Iowa State responded with seven straight points to put the Cyclones in front for good.
Lacey scored 14 second-half points to carry Iowa State on a night when the Cyclones shot just 37 percent. Kelsey Bolte hit three of Iowa State's six 3-pointers, including two after halftime.
Iowa State entered Thursday shooting 41 percent from 3-point range, the best mark in the Big 12. But the Cyclones struggled to consistently connect on 3-pointers against the Jayhawks, making just 27 percent of their attempts.
The teams exchanged baskets and leads throughout the second half, and neither held more than a 5-point advantage at any point during the game.
Morris and Engelman scored Kansas' first 11 points to start the second half, allowing the Jayhawks to remain close. But Kansas committed 16 turnovers compared to Iowa State's 10 - a large differential in a tightly contested game.
Kansas and Iowa State played to a near deadlock in the first half as the Jayhawks held a 24-23 lead at the break. Offensively, both teams struggled in the first half as Iowa State shot 36 percent and Kansas 43 percent.