LAWRENCE, Kan. — Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins scored 29 points and sophomore forward Perry Ellis added 20 as the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks remained unbeaten in the Big 12 on Wednesday by tripping the No. 16 Iowa State Cyclones 92-81 in Allen Fieldhouse.
Although the Cyclones used quick darts to the basket and good shooting from 3-point range to hang close, the taller Jayhawks held on to improve to 16-4 overall and 7-0 in the Big 12.
Wiggins scored six straight points for Kansas following the final media time out. He was fouled intentionally by Iowa State forward Dustin Hogue and made both free throws before adding a follow shot on the same possession. The Jayhawks then got a turnover on the other end, leading to a breakaway dunk by Wiggins with 2:49 left for an 81-72 lead.
The highly-touted freshman topped his previous career-high of 27 points, which he set in Kansas’ previous game at TCU.
Despite falling behind by 16 before 10 minutes had elapsed, the Cyclones (15-4, 3-4) tied the game on a 3-pointer by guard DeAndre Kane to begin the second half.
The Jayhawks, however, answered with an 11-0 run behind 3s from Wiggins and guard Wayne Selden, and a three-point play by Ellis.
Two Jayhawks added double-doubles. Center Joel Embiid had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Point guard Naadir Tharpe added 11 points and 12 assists. Selden added 11 points as each of Kansas’ starters scored in double figures.
Kane and forward Georges Niang shared team-honors with 22 points apiece for Iowa State. Forward Melvin Ejim added 18.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half, which included two huge shifts in momentum.
Kansas raced to a 16-point lead behind a dominant effort on the offensive glass, yet the Jayhawks lost practically the entire margin before reaching halftime ahead 46-43.
Iowa State went on a 20-7 flurry to crawl within 37-34, but it never led in the first half despite pulling within one at 44-43. During its big spree, the Cyclones scored on six straight possessions, hitting four 3-pointers during that run.
Ellis scored 15 first-half points for the Jayhawks, including four of their last five baskets. Wiggins added 12 first-half points.
The Cyclones went 6-for-12 from 3-point range before intermission. Five of their 3-pointers came in the final 8-plus minutes. They were led by Niang, who had 11 points at the break.
NOTES: Iowa State entered the game leading the Big 12 in scoring offense (84.8 points per game), assists (18.2 per game) and 3-pointers made (8.7 per game). … The Cyclones were coming off their best shooting performance from 3-point range (50 percent), despite making just one second-half trey against Kansas State. Their worst effort from behind the arc came in a 77-70 home-court loss against Kansas when they went 4-for-25 (.160). … Kansas C Joel Embiid entered the night with 53 blocks, one of the 10 best totals ever for a Big 12 freshman. … Kansas G Conner Frankamp missed the game due to a knee injury. He sat out two practices leading into the game. … Two Kansas signees, Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, were selected to the McDonald’s All-American game. Alexander is a 6-foot-8 power forward for Curie High School in Chicago. Oubre is a 6-7 small forward from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. … Rapper Trey Songz was among those in attendance.
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