9:00 PM ET, January 29, 2014
Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
Andrew Wiggins scores career-best 29 as Kansas holds off Iowa State
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Just minutes after Andrew Wiggins put No. 6 Kansas on his back, scoring six of his career-high 29 points in the defining moment of the game, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg offered a glowing assessment of the star freshman.
"You can tell he's oozing with confidence," Hoiberg said Wednesday night after his 16th-ranked Cyclones lost 92-81, "and that's scary."
The nation's No. 1 recruit, Wiggins finally has started to live up to his hype. He matched his 27-point performance in a win over TCU last weekend with a dunk that gave Kansas an 81-72 lead with just less than three minutes remaining and then added a couple of free throws for his career high.
The freshman hit four 3-pointers and finished 10-of-16 from the field.
"I'm just starting to feel more comfortable," Wiggins said.
It helped that he didn't have to carry the load himself.
Perry Ellis added 20 points, Joel Embiid had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Naadir Tharpe finished with 12 points and 12 assists for the Jayhawks (16-4, 7-0 Big 12), who won their seventh straight game. Wayne Selden Jr. had 11 points and five assists.
"I'm not surprised at all because we got prepared to play these games," Tharpe said. "It was a matter of time until everyone just went out there and started to play."
Iowa State started the season with 14 straight wins but now has dropped four of its past five. That includes a 77-70 loss to the Jayhawks earlier this month in Ames.
"If they're hitting shots like that," Hoiberg said of the Jayhawks, "that's going to be a tough, tough team to beat."
It didn't seem to matter early in the game.
The Jayhawks roared to a 30-14 lead in the opening minutes, dominating on the offensive glass and taking advantage of rapidly retreating Cyclones on the defensive boards.
Just as quickly, though, Iowa State whittled into the lead.
The comeback began with a jam off an alley-oop pass by Ejim and picked up momentum when the Cyclones hit 3-pointers on four straight trips down court. By the time Monte Morris finished off the run, done mostly while Wiggins sat on the bench, the lead had been trimmed to 37-34.
"I've been in this building enough as a player, as a coach, a scout, and it happens pretty much every game, they come out and hit shots early, and you have to withstand it, you have to withstand the runs," Hoiberg said. "I give our guys credit for clawing back in the game."
The Cyclones pulled even for the first time when Kane buried a 3-pointer out of halftime, but the Jayhawks responded with 11 straight points to regain control. Wiggins did most of the work, hitting a long jumper and a scooping layup while also getting to the free throw line.
By that point, a packed crowd that included Kansas City Royals Billy Butler and Jeremy Guthrie and Grammy-nominated musician Trey Songz was on its feet.
Iowa State made one more charge. Ejim scored to draw within 73-69 and force Kansas coach Bill Self to call a timeout, and Niang drained a 3-pointer moments later to make it a one-point game.
Embiid responded with a thunderous dunk, and after Kane turned it over at the other end, the Cyclones intentionally fouled Wiggins on a fast break. He made both free throws and then added a putback off Embiid's miss to make it a four-point trip.
"That was a pretty big call," Niang said of the intentional foul. "Not saying it was a bad call or anything, but that's where they took off."
Wiggins added a run-out dunk after another turnover to give the Jayhawks an 81-72 lead, and the defending Big 12 champions coasted the rest of the way to their 18th win in 19 meetings with Iowa State.
"We gave ourselves a chance," Hoiberg said, "and at the end of the day, we gave ourselves an opportunity in as tough an environment as we're going to play in."
LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 29: Perry Ellis #34 of the Kansas Jayhawks shoots over Dustin Hogue #22 of the Iowa State...(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||30-62 (.484)||32-62 (.516)|
|3P Made-Attempted||10-26 (.385)||10-22 (.455)|
|FT Made-Attempted||11-16 (.688)||18-21 (.857)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|
Next 5 Games
Big 12 Conference Standings
*Kansas' Andrew Wiggins scored a career-high 29 points Wednesday night, excelling in all phases offensively. Iowa State used six different defenders to guard Wiggins, but had no answer in the half court. - Wiggins also scored 7 of Kansas' 9 transition points Wednesday. Wiggins averages 1.46 points per play in transition this season, the most in the Big 12 and third most in the nation (min. 50 plays).[+]
Andrew Wiggins Half-Court Offense vs. Iowa St.
*Wiggins has set career-highs in points in his last 2 games (27 points vs. TCU, Jan. 25). Wiggins has been better attacking the basket, shooting above 70% in the paint in his last 2 games. - Wiggins' field goal percentage in the paint was 58% during non-conference play, but was only 48% during their first 5 conference games.[+]
Andrew Wiggins Offense, This Season
*Kansas' Joel Embiid had 22 touches inside the 3-point line Wednesday. Iowa State double teamed Embiid on 14 of those 22 touches (64%). When he was not double teamed, Embiid made both field goal attempts and drew 2 fouls. All 14 of Embiid's points came from his paint touches.
*Iowa State scored 9 transition points in the first half, but was held to only 2 points in transition in the second half. The Cyclones had 8 transition possessions in the first 29 minutes, but 0 in the final 11 minutes. Iowa State has averaged 17.6, but only 12.5 transition points per game against Kansas this season.
The Jayhawks have scored 50 or more points in the paint four times; the rest of the Big 12 has seven such games combined.
Kansas averages the most points per game in the paint (37.5) in the Big 12 and Iowa State ranks second (36.7).[+]
PPG in the Paint
DeAndre Kane has scored or assisted on 40% of Iowa State's points during conference play after accounting for 33% against non-conference opponents.
Kansas scored a season-high 23 second-chance points in its win against Iowa State on Jan. 13. It was also the most the Cyclones have allowed this season.
Andrew Wiggins is averaging 17.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game against AP top-25 opponents compared to 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds against unranked opponents.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information