No. 6 Kansas continues Big 12 surge, downs No. 16 Iowa State 92-81
Conference play isn’t supposed to be easy, but No. 6 Kansas is making it look that way with its current run in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks held off a resilient Iowa State squad at Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday for a 92-81 victory. With the win, Kansas notched a 7-0 start in Big 12 play for the third straight season.
One of the Jayhawks’ primary catalysts of late has been their offense, and it didn’t disappoint against the Cyclones. Kansas hit 52 percent of its field goals (32-of-62), including 10 of its 22 attempts from the perimeter, as all five starters scored in double figures. The Jayhawks haven’t scored fewer than 77 points during their current seven-game winning streak.
Much of the night was the Andrew Wiggins show, which should come as no surprise considering the freshman phenom’s last outing against Iowa State. Wiggins put up 17 points and 19 rebounds in Kansas’ 77-70 win over Iowa State on Jan. 13. He followed that performance with a career-high 29 points on Wednesday night that helped the Jayhawks stave off a few late Iowa State runs.
Kansas led by as many as 13 in the second half but failed to completely put away the Cyclones until late. Iowa State climbed to within one point at 73-72 on a Georges Niang trey with 4:31 to play. But the Jayhawks went on an 8-0 run after that, a streak capped by a Wiggins dunk that put the game away for good.
It’s still a bit early to start planning for conference titles, but it’s not overly ridiculous to wonder if anyone else can truly contend with Kansas in the Big 12. Coach Bill Self’s team has a two-game lead in the league over Oklahoma, whom the Jayhawks already beat. But one team Kansas has yet to face, Texas, sits just behind the Sooners in the Big 12 standings. That means Saturday’s matchup between the Jayhawks and the Longhorns in Austin should be very telling for Kansas’ true shot at the Big 12 title.