It was ugly, but they got the job done. Just two days after Kansas played Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse, the two teams made the trip to Ames to face off once again. Thursday’s game was far and away more fun for Jayhawk fans, resulting in a 33-point blowout win, but the team was eventually able to pull away for a second straight over the Hawkeyes.
Though no part of this one was glamorous, the first half was certainly the messier of the two. The Jayhawks stumbled out of the gate, hitting just three of their first 13 shots, and digging a small hole for themselves. Fortunately, ISU proved too adept at shooting themselves in the foot to really take advantage of KU’s offensive woes, turning it over a whopping 13 times in the first half alone. As a few of the Jayhawks’ shots started to fall, they made up the necessary ground and were able to stumble into the locker room tied up at 24.
While the second half was an improvement, it still wasn’t much to look at. The Jayhawks remained ice-cold from three, and not all that much better inside the arc. Fortunately, ISU was dealing with their own shooting woes in addition to continued turnover and rebounding problems, and KU very slowly built out a lead throughout the half. They would end up winning comfortably, 64-50, on the back of some good defense and some downright bad play on the part of Iowa State.
For the second game in a row, the big story for the Jayhawks was the continued resurgence of Jalen Wilson, who may potentially be breaking through his freshman wall. Today he scored a game high 22 points along with ten boards, giving him his fourth consecutive double-double. David McCormack fouled out late with 13 and eight, while Marcus Garrett made himself a part of the game in other areas, notching five assists and a whopping five steals, despite scoring only four. The team shot just 30% from three and 36% overall in the win.
The Jayhawks now get a few deserved days off before their next matchup, which should in theory also be a relatively easy win. They’ll take on Kansas State in Manhattan Wednesday night, potentially as a once-again ranked team. They now sit at 15-7 for the year, and 9-5 in conference play.