Iowa State 63, No. 2 Kansas 61, OT
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP)—The Iowa State Cyclones are well past their humble goal of stopping an embarrassing six-game losing streak.
Now they’re beating ranked teams on the road and riding a season-saving, seven-game winning streak. And after starting the Big 12 season 0-5, they’re ready to settle for nothing less than an NCAA tournament bid.
Curtis Stinson scored 29 points, including the game-winner in the lane with 5.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Cyclones pulled off their most improbable victory yet, stunning No. 2 Kansas 63-61 on Saturday. Stinson had all seven of Iowa State’s points in the overtime.
The win snapped the Jayhawks’ 32-game conference home winning streak and could eventually cost Kansas a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament the Cyclones now believe they should be a part of.
“Beating the No. 2 team at home. It is not better than that,” said Stinson, whose injured left hand kept him off the floor for the opening 4:25 of the game.
“I hurt it in practice,” the husky sophomore guard said. “I hit it again tonight. I am a competitor and I am going to play hard.”
The Jayhawks (20-3, 10-2) erased a nine-point deficit in the last 2 minutes of regulation. But all game long they had no answer for Stinson or Iowa State’s aggressive 2-3 zone and they finished with a season-low point total.
Stinson hit a short jumper over Langford for the game-winner.
“He is great,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We had no answer for Curtis Stinson.”
Five days after losing by one point in double overtime at Texas Tech, the Jayhawks shot only 34.5 percent and were 4-for-23 from beyond the 3-point arc.
“Offensively, we didn’t have any rhythm at all,” Self said. “We were out of sync all day. These guys have performed at a high level for a long time but today we were as poor as we can be offensively.”
The Cyclones (15-8, 7-5) have beaten Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Kansas — all ranked teams—in the streak and won three conference road games after not winning a league game away from home for almost 4 years.
“I thought my kids played their hearts out the whole game,” Cyclones coach Wayne Morgan said. “They didn’t give up and they kept fighting. Not a lot of teams come in here and win.”
Stinson’s winning shot came right after Langford missed two free throws at the other end. Langford then missed a desperation 17-footer at the buzzer.
Morgan admitted he’s eager for the NCAA selection committee to take a look at his team’s turnaround.
“I think that the people who make those decisions need to look at that right now,” he said. “We have won seven games in a row and we have been playing very well. Each time we play, we say that we want to take it one game at a time and get better each time we play.
“We need to relax and enjoy this and smell the roses a little bit.”
Langford tied it 56-all with a 4-footer over Jared Homan with 6 seconds left in regulation.
“We made it tough on ourselves today because we didn’t make our shots,” Langford said. “All in all, it was just one of those days when things just didn’t seem to go right.”
The Jayhawks were without forward Christian Moody, who was nursing an infected knee and might not be ready for Monday night’s game at No. 21 Oklahoma.
Wayne Simien had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Kansas, but took only seven shots. He was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line but J.R. Giddens, Kansas’ 3-point specialist, was 3-for-16 from the field, including 1-for-11 from beyond the arc.
“Our defense is just good,” Morgan said. “Our kids really got after it. The first three or four plays we made mistakes, but we settled in and played great.”
Kansas took a 59-56 lead in overtime before Stinson, with two free throws and a short jumper, made it 60-59.
Then Simien’s two free throws made it 61-60 before Stinson made one of two from the line and tied it 61-all.
Homan, who fouled out in overtime, had 14 points for Iowa State.
“Coach tells us not to give up and keep playing,” Stinson said. “We kept playing. When we had the opportunity for the last shot, I told Coach, `Hey, I’ve got this one.’ When I shot it, it felt like it was going in.”
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