Iowa State Cyclones

Three Thoughts on Iowa State’s 68-53 Win Over Kansas

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Iowa State

The Iowa State Cyclones and Kansas Jayhawks met in Ames on Saturday for their second meeting of the Big 12 basketball season. Iowa State lost in Lawrence in mid-January 62-60, but they clearly had revenge on their mind in front of their home crowd.

The Cyclones only trailed this game once, when it was 3-2, early in the first half. But after that, it was all Iowa State, as the Cyclones rolled to an absolutely dominant 68-53 win over the Jayhawks. With the win, Iowa State set a program record with their fourth win over a Top-10 team, their most in a single season in the AP Poll era.

Here are three thoughts on the game.


That Iowa State Defense

The Jayhawks came into this game leading the Big 12 Conference in points per game (75), plus field goal percentage and three-point percentage. But on Saturday, the Jayhawks couldn’t buy a bucket, especially in the first half. Coming into the game, Kansas’ season-low for first-half points was 25 vs. Tennessee, but the Jayhawks only scored 21 in the opening 20 minutes of this game.

The Jayhawks shot well below their season average. KU hit just 39% from the floor, while finishing 26% from three-point range. On top of that, the Cyclones forced 20 Kansas turnovers, five of those from Grady Dick, who had arguably his worst game in a KU uniform as the freshman sensation finished with just seven points on 2-6 shooting. Only Jalen Wilson finished in double figures with 26 points on the afternoon.


A Balanced Attack

The Cyclones had as balanced of an attack as a team can have with six players finishing with between eight and 15 points. Jaren Holmes led the way with 15 on the day, while the team shot 46% from the floor and 30% from three-point range. Tamin Lipsey nearly had himself a triple-double, with nine points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.

There were two key runs for the Cyclones. The first came at the end of the first half, when Iowa State held KU scoreless for the final 3:03 and went on a 7-0 run to take a 33-21 lead into halftime. Then, KU cut it to a five-point game at 15:57, but Iowa State responded with a 6-0 run to get back control of the game, which they would never relinquish.

The Big 12 Standings

These next four weeks of Big 12 basketball are going to be off-the-charts exciting as the race for first place goes down the home stretch. Iowa State now finds itself at 7-3, a half-game behind the Longhorns, who play K-State in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon. Meantime, Kansas falls to 6-4, which is 5th place in the league as of this game ending.


The Big 12 is unbelievable, as six of the 10 teams are within two games of each other atop the standings. Iowa State’s win goes a long way to solidifying itself near the top of the standings, for now. And for Kansas, it does not get easier, as they will take on Texas coming up on Big Monday. Iowa State, who is a perfect 12-0 at home, has to hit the road for West Virginia next week. This league is relentless.

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