In two games this season, the Kansas men’s basketball team were able to pull out overtime victories over the Iowa State Cyclones. Just add it to the list of heartbreaking losses; this just isn’t the season that anything will break for them.
Elijah Johnson, who was Clones Confidential’s player to watch for the Jayhawks, finished with a team-high 39 points and seven assists. He also went 6-10 from 3-point range and hit all seven of his free throw attempts. But the biggest story was the no-call on his drive to the basket with five seconds left. Johnson clearly didn’t have control of the ball, and with Georges Niang having his arms straight up and his body not moving at all before contact, it was a textbook charge on Johnson. But Niang was called with his fourth foul of the game.
Niang’s reaction to the call on the floor said everything.
Johnson went on to hit both free throws to force overtime, and hit two 3-pointers, including his ridiculous miracle make, in overtime to give his team a 103-96 lead with 54 seconds left. Previous to that, Kansas turned it over two times and Will Clyburn hit 4-6 from the free throw line to get the Cyclones within four.
Those two misses in that stretch were Clyburn’s only misses, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds. Niang had 15 points and seven assists, hitting all six free throws and nailing three 3-point shots, before fouling out of the game.
Korie Lucious was the best all-around player on the court, finishing with a team-high 23 points, five assists, three turnovers, and hit 10-12 from the free throw line. Tyrus McGee had 22 points and five rebounds, including also shooting 6-10 from the perimeter like Johnson did.
Melvin Ejim was the biggest disappointment, getting into foul trouble and having just four points and seven rebounds. The majority of that stat line happened in the first five minutes of the game.
Kansas won the rebounding battle easily, 41-31, but Iowa State actually had one more offensive board. The Cyclones also committed eight less turnovers, having just seven compared to the Jayhawks’ 15.
Jeff Withey was held to no blocks but had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out. Another aspect of the bad officiating came right before the blown call on Niang when the refs called Naadir Tharpe for a foul that Withey obviously made on Lucious.
Iowa State has a four days off before playing at Oklahoma this Saturday afternoon.