In an exciting opening game of Big 12 play, Kansas outlasted Iowa State for their first conference win of the 2010-11 season. There were moments where Kansas looked like they were going to turn it into a 15 or 20 point win. They just couldn't find a way to get a lead and hold it (shocking). The Morri were outstanding tonight, especially Marcus. Off the top of my head this was easily his best game of his 2 1/2 year career. Markieff Morris also had a productive night, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
The first half saw the Jayhawks jump out to a quick 10-2 lead. Kansas stayed strong behind the aggressive play of Marcus Morris and Josh Selby. Iowa State did make a run after the first tv timeout and got the lead down to 1. Kansas then went on a familiar 9-0 run and stretched the lead 13 with 4 minutes left. But as we've seen with this team, the Cyclones cut into the lead over the last few minutes of the half, leaving the lead at only six points. Sigh...anyway the Morri combined for a double-double in the first half, 19 points and 11 rebounds between the twins.
As for the game after the half...well Kansas came out and extended the lead just a little but Iowa State answered back and again cut the lead down to a point before Josh Selby hit a huge three following a sloppy possession and loose ball. Again, in a familiar development the Jayhawks went on a strong run following the three, extending the lead to 12 this time. Iowa State did all they could to stay in this one following the run though. A three pointer here and a Jayhawk turnover there kept it a game late. Marcus Morris took over and carried this team through the last five minutes.
Winners: Marcus Morris. This is the first game I've seen where he looked like he wasn't going to let the Jayhawks lose. He's been very, very good in previous games but his mentality just seemed a little different tonight.
Markieff Morris gets a small nod here as well. Outside of a few ill-advised 3 point attempts, he did have 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Brady gets a little love here tonight as well, 4 assists and 4 rebounds with 0 turnovers. He provides that every night and he earns himself minutes.
Losers: Hate to keep saying it but the killer instinct. It was a tough environment and Iowa State did some things well, so we'll take the win and be happy.