On Friday night in Kansas City, Missouri, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks defeated Iowa State for the third-time this season, 88-73. The first two occasions provided suspense, for the third time, Kansas was in control most of the way.
With the win, Kansas improved to 28-5 overall, while dropping Iowa State to 22-11 and pushing them once again to on the bubble status for the NCAA tournament.
Freshman forward Perry Ellis provided his best game of the season with 23 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes for the Jayhawks. Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey both added 14 points, while Ben McLemore scored 10. Reserve guard Naadir Tharpe provided eight points and eight assists. The Cyclones were keyed by Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim who combined for 36 points.
Kansas broke open a close game with a 20-8 run to start the second half. After Tharpe connected on a lay-up, Kansas held a 55-39 lead. Iowa State managed to cut the lead under 10 points two times the rest of the way, though couldn’t get any closer then nine points. Iowa State was held to 40 % shooting and 27 % from behind the three-point line.
Kansas now awaits the winner of tonight’s nightcap between Oklahoma State and Kansas State for an opponent in tomorrow’s conference championship game.
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