[January 14, 2014]AMES, Iowa — Junior guard Naadir
Tharpe made his first seven shots from the field and finished with 23
points, and freshman guard Andrew Wiggins added 19 points and a
career-high 17 rebounds to lead No. 15 Kansas to a 77-70 victory over
No. 8 Iowa State on Monday night in Hilton Coliseum.
The Jayhawks reeled off nine straight points to begin the second
half and kept the Cyclones at bay by feeding the ball inside and
using their height advantage.
"I feel good about our team," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "During
the course of the game, there's going to be runs and when they got
it tied at halftime (36-36), I told that to our team.
"All that did was make it a 20-minute game and fortunately we were
the better team for that many minutes."
Freshman center Joel Embiid had back-to-back buckets after Iowa
State closed within 56-51. The 7-footer scored 12 of his 16 points
in the second half on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, and added nine
"He's huge, he has incredible length, he can shoot and he's been
playing about two years," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said with a
The Jayhawks capitalized on a 1-for-11 shooting start from the field
by the Cyclones after the break.
Kansas overcame 26 fouls because of Iowa State's inability to
connect, particularly from long range. The Cyclones averaged nine
3-point makes per game on 25 attempts but went just 4 of 25 in
dropping their second straight game after a 14-0 start. A year ago,
Iowa State made 17 treys against Kansas.
The Jayhawks entered as the only undefeated team in Big 12 play and
left 12-4 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Tharpe, in particular, was helpful because his outside shooting
helped open the floor for the Jayhawks, especially Embiid.
"It was real important for me to knock down shots," Tharpe said,
"because it put less stress on Wayne (Selden) and Wiggs. They
started to close on me and I was able to drive and get my big men
involved and you saw Joel. In the second half, he played really well
and that's what we really needed."
Tharpe actually had a poor shooting touch in the Jayhawks' last
practice and felt as if his shot was off during the shootaround the
team conducted before the game. Self simply told his point guard to
maintain his confidence and his shots would fall.
"When anybody scores 23 points on nine shots, he's doing some
good things," Self said.
Kansas managed a victory in one of the league's most difficult
arenas, with a full house charged up after Iowa State suffered a
controversial overtime loss at home last year to the Jayhawks.
Senior guard DeAndre Kane, despite suffering a sprained ankle
toward the end of Saturday's loss at Oklahoma, led the Cyclones
with 21 points.
Kane shot an air ball, however, inside the final minute after
Iowa State pulled within 72-67. He also missed two free throws
on a three-shot foul with 42.3 seconds left.
Iowa State was not much better from conventional range,
finishing 22 of 70 from the floor. Forward Melvin Ejim added 15
points, but the Cyclones led just once, by one point, with 1:47
left in the first half.
Embiid was whistled for his second flagrant technical in as many
games on Saturday after referees checked the monitor for his
foul with 15:13 left. Embiid sat for several minutes before he
re-entered late in the half. He was ejected from a win on
Saturday over Kansas State after he was assessed a flagrant 2
NOTES: Although Iowa State listed the availability of G DeAndre
Kane as a game-time decision, he participated in practice and
declared himself available before tipoff. Kane sprained his
ankle late in a loss Saturday at Oklahoma. ... Iowa State
entered as one of seven programs in the country with three
scorers averaging 15 or more points, Kane (16.5), F Melvin Ejim
(18.0) and F Georges Niang (15.3). ... Kansas' leading scorer,
freshman G Andrew Wiggins, ranked only ninth in the Big 12 with
a 15.7-point average, though four of the Jayhawks' starters
entered the game averaging double figures. ... Kansas came in
holding a 23-19 edge in Hilton Coliseum, a 29-8 advantage since
the inception of the Big 12 and a 19-3 dominance with Bill Self
as coach. ... Four of the last five meetings were decided by
single digits, with both regular-season matchups a year ago
going into overtime. ... Kansas G Wayne Selden was named Big 12
newcomer of the week on Monday after scoring a team-high 24
points against Oklahoma and following with 20 against Kansas
State. The Jayhawks won both games.