LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The road to a Big 12 championship always seems to go through Kansas. And for the rest of the conference, that is where the path usually dead ends. Yet on Wednesday, Iowa State paid no attention to history, predictions or the 16,300 jammed into Allen Fieldhouse. The Cyclones extended the No. 6 Jayhawks into overtime, and Kansas survived to the extra period only because Jayhawks freshman guard Ben McLemore banked in a 3-pointer to forge a tie with one second remaining in regulation time. Then, the history, predictions and partisan crowd took form. Kansas scored the first 11 points of the overtime and outlasted the Cyclones, 97-89. The conference opener launched the Jayhawks' bid for a ninth straight Big 12 title. McLemore scored 33 points to lead all scorers as each starter on both teams netted double figures. A conventional three-point play by forward Melvin Ejim with 13:33 remaining in regulation, part of a 14-1 run, gave the Cyclones a 52-49 lead. They did not trail again until Kansas launched its overtime blitz with a 3-pointer by McLemore just 10 seconds into the extra session. The victory was the 12th straight for Kansas (13-1) and snapped a four-game winning streak for Iowa State (10-4). The Cyclones entered the game averaging 9.1 three-pointers made per game to rank eighth nationally. They buried 14 treys Wednesday, but on 38 attempts. The Jayhawks responded behind 10-of-12 shooting from McLemore, a 6-foot-5 wing who established himself as the Big 12's top newcomer during nonconference play. He came in averaging a team-high 15.6 points, but made all six 3-pointers he attempted against the Cyclones. Ejim led Iowa State with 19 points. Kansas used a 13-5 flurry, including a pair of three-pointers by Ben McLemore, to snap a 27-27 tie. When Iowa State's George Niang was slapped with a technical with 1:04 left in the half, McLemore netted both free throws to make it 42-33. The Cyclones hung tough, getting two free throws from Tyrus McGee and a three-pointer at the buzzer from Chris Babb to make it 42-38 in favor of Kansas at halftime. Of Iowa State's 31 first-half shots, 16 were from three-point range. It drained seven and was led by Niang, who scored eight of his 10 points to begin the game. Kansas countered by going 5-of-10 from three-point range. McLemore hit all three treys he attempted and scored 13 first-half points. Notes: Iowa State entered the game as the only team in the country to score 70 or more points in each game. The Cyclones ranked sixth nationally in scoring (82.0 ppg.) going in. ... Fourth-year coach Fred Hoiberg entered the game looking for his 50th victory as Iowa State's coach. He was 2-14 against ranked opponents. ... Kansas tops the nation with 55 conference titles overall. ... The Jayhawks carried a 21-game winning streak in conference openers into Wednesday's game.
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