Iowa State rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to snap Kansas’ 54-game home winning streak, 92-89 in overtime. It was the first time the Cyclones have won in Lawrence since 2005 — another overtime win at Allen Fieldhouse.
OK, I’ll do my best to recap this game despite the dopamine rush that acquires any win at Kansas.
Iowa State got off to a decent start with Deonte Burton hitting a couple of outside shots to keep the Cyclones even in the first 10 minutes. But from there, it was as ugly as you would have expected coming off of a lifeless 2nd half against West Virginia on Tuesday. The Cyclones lost focus, couldn’t stop penetration, Frank Mason, or grab a rebound. In fact, the Cyclones finished the half with 3 total rebounds. Kansas shot 70 percent in the first half, and a late Mason assist to Landen Lucas looked like it might break the Cyclones.
Iowa State came out strong in the second half behind the hot shooting of Burton and Naz Mitrou-Long. The lead would shrink to four after Monte Morris turned a botched alley-oop to Josh Jackson into a transition 3-pointer. After trading blows, Deonte Burton hit an ill-advised 3-pointer to take the lead for the Cyclones with 6:16 to play. It was then time for Mitrou-Long to get hot, draining a couple of tough threes to answer Kansas baskets.
Morris hit a 3-pointer (there were a lot of freakin’ 3-pointers) to take the lea late for Iowa State, 82-81. Mason would make one free throw before missing a shot at the buzzer off the back iron. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that Frank Mason was nearly unstoppable all game, scoring a career-high 32 points on 81 percent shooting. So props to Mitrou-Long for at least contesting the shot.
We’ve seen a few teams go to overtime in Lawrence, including our own Cyclones. It doesn’t usually go very well. But today, Iowa State locked down on the defensive end and grabbed some key rebounds. Monte Morris got the scoring started in the extra period with a tough fadeaway on the left baseline. Deonte Burton then added a 3-pointer to take a 5-point lead, 87-82.
After Kansas cut the lead to one under a minute to play, Morris drove late in the shot clock before fining Donovan Jackson open in the corner. Jackson hit the clutch 3-pointer to give the Cyclones a four-point lead with 26 seconds to play. Devonte Graham answered to cut the lead to one. Monte Morris hit two clutch free throws before Svi Mykhailiuk missed a deep 3-pointer. Burton secured the rebound, and that was that. Iowa State won 92-89, and Iowa State moved to 6-4 in the Big 12 an secured a win that gives their NCAA Tournament resume the boost it needed.
Who fucking cares how it happened? Iowa State found a way to win at arguably the toughest place to play in the country after trailing by 15. Kudos to Steve Prohm and the entire squad for silencing the critics. The challenge now is to use this momentum and capitalize on a relatively weak schedule the next two weeks.