In a battle of two outstanding basketball teams, Kansas showed why they’re the Big 12′s most elite team. Iowa State was turned away after a furious comeback, hanging on until the very end when three straight turnovers and a controversial call on Dustin Hogue faded hopes of a win at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks (16-4, 7-0) dominated with Andrew Wiggins and Perry Ellis. Wiggins finished with an amazing 29 points and seven rebounds, making 10-of-16 from the field and four 3-pointers. It wasn’t as balanced as his onslaught in Ames, but he was a scoring machine against Iowa State.
There was nothing that the Cyclones (15-4, 3-4) could do with Ellis’ size. The 7-footer went 8-of-12 from the field and finished with 20 points, making all four free throw attempts.
The game was decided coming out of the final media timeout with 3:36 to go in the game and Kansas was up by three. Dustin Hogue coughed up the ball on the inbounds pass and then DeAndre Kane did the same when Ellis couldn’t hold on to the steal and Iowa State had a second chance. Hogue then was called for an intentional foul on the other end because he had his hand on Wiggins.
Nothing about the play by Hogue looked intentional, he was simply playing for the ball. Instead, Wiggins went down hard and they were able to get two free throws. Wiggins scored on the ensuing possession after Joel Embiid missed his shot.
Hogue would turn the ball over again on the next possession with a steal by Naadir Tharpe and Wiggins would dunk it home to make it 81-72 before ISU called a timeout.
Two Kansas players finished with double-doubles. Predictably, Embiid dominated the glass with 11 rebounds to go with 14 points. In a more unconventional double-double, Tharpe quietly had 12 points and 12 of the team’s 20 assists.
It was a much better night for Iowa State shooting the ball. The finished at 48.4 percent from the field with Melvin Ejim, Georges Niang, and DeAndre Kane making the biggest contributions offensively.
Ejim had the best overall stat line with 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Niang led the team with 24 points (made three 3-point shots) and added four rebounds and five assists. Kane had 22 points and went 4-of-6 from the free throw line.
The game was night-and-day better than the affair that took place at Hilton Coliseum, which was plagued with lots of foul calls, turnovers, and poor shooting. Despite Iowa State giving some of their best effort, Kansas’ effort was still better. The Jayhawks are playing at a national championship level, and opponents will have to hope that they run into them on an off night.
Kansas stays undefeated in Big 12 play while Iowa State falls under .500 at 3-4. They’ll head back to Ames and host Oklahoma this Saturday. Tip-off is at 3:00 PM Central time with TV coverage on the Big 12 Network.