Iowa State came to play Saturday in the first half. They took advantage of poor Kansas shooting and foul trouble to manage a 3 point lead into half time.
The Cyclones were efficient in their possessions and took advantage of every time they had to ball to come away from points. The Jayhawks weren’t exactly slouches, but their offense wasn’t fluid and Thomas Robinson once again had issues finding the bucket with his shots.
Iowa State hovered around a 4 to 5 point lead at times in the first half with Kansas even making a run to regain the lead at the 3 minute mark in the first half. With sufficient recovery on the scoreboard, Bill Self chose to sit Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor to avoid them getting more fouls before the second half. With that move, ISU was able to sneak out of the first half with a 3 point lead.
Kansas played average compared to their potential and Iowa State played great with the talent they have. They do not have the recruiting power of a Kansas or Kentucky, but they had drive and determination in the first half.
The Jayhawks stormed back into the lead after half time with an 11-0 run to open the half. The lead was short lived as Iowa State would not go away. At the 11:45 mark in the second half, Iowa State regained a 2 point lead and Kansas was committing silly turnovers and just did not look focused.
It was hard to determine if Bill Self’s face was red with aggravation at his team’s poor play or from the reflection of the red sections of the Iowa State court. More than likely, it was from the former. The Hawks just did not look good on offense.
The one good fact from this type of game is proof that the Jayhawk’s defense is a factor. If not for staving off large offensive runs from opponents during scoring droughts, KU would not be 7-0 in the conference.
One factor to note was the short-comings in Kansas rebounding. At the 10 minute mark in the second half, KU had 18 to ISU’s 27 total rebounds. One would think with a 7 foot tall Jeff Withey, this wouldn’t be a problem.
The majority of the second half was nip-and-tuck as each team traded empty scoring trips keeping the score tied or to a 2 point or less lead.
After the 7 minute mark, it was Iowa State in the lead by as much as 5 with Kansas just not able to come up with points after key stops on defense. At the 1:47 mark, Thomas Robinson picked up his fourth foul, making the effort needed by Kansas to come back from 5 points down even that much more difficult.
At 55.3, ISU’s Chris Babb sank a perfectly timed 3-point shot to put ISU up by 8. Hilton magic, indeed. From that point it became a game of trying to get points and fouls by KU to put ISU at the line. With 15.2 left and Iowa State up by 7, Kansas performed a last ditch foul effort with ISU converting to secure the win.
It had the making of a trap game, however, Iowa State played from tip and it wasn’t a sneak up win at the last second. Cyclones came to play and Kansas just looked weary as they start a tough road stretch.
Missouri and Baylor now have their chances to get back in the Big 12 race.
To stay up to speed with the Kansas Jayhawks, subscribe to Ryan above or follow the stories on the Kansas Jayhawk Basketball Examiner Page. Also follow Ryan on twitter at @TriJayhawkRyan.