It looked like the Hilton Coliseum magic was ripe for Iowa State Cyclones. Shooting 52 percent from three point range, ISU was destined to win Monday night, February 25, 2013, or so they thought. Crying and irate Cyclone fans couldn’t stop Kansas as Elijah Johnson lead the team with 39 points on the way to a 108-96 overtime win. The win gave Kansas head coach Bill Self 500 for his career and snapped a 22-game home winning streak for Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum.
Trailing 87-82, Elijah Johnson put Kansas on his shoulders and hit two three-pointers and a pair of free throws (after a controversial foul call sequence) to tie the game against deafening jeers with four seconds left. Johnson, whose previous career-best was 26 points, added 12 in overtime to help keep Kansas (24-4, 12-3 Big 12) remain at the top of the Big 12.
Travis Releford (19), Jeff Withey (13) and Kevin Young (13) joined Johnson in double figures and helped Self become the ninth-fastest coach to 500 wins in just his 662nd career game. After Monday night’s win, Self owns a 500-162 (.755) mark in 20 years as a head coach at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas.
It was a game of ups and downs as Kansas and ISU traded leads, tied and saw KU down as much as 7 at times. Iowa State kept the pressure on by hitting 17 three pointers in the contest, which is one shy of matching the highest-total ever against Kansas. Kansas outscored Iowa State 18-6 in overtime to complete the regular season sweep.
KU came to play and Elijah Johnson was on another level after suffering through most of the season. His three point shooting and ball handling had some into question in recent weeks as Kansas went through a 3 game losing streak and tough wins. If Johnson can play to even two thirds of that potential in the remaining games of the season, then Kansas will easily stay on top of the Big 12 and challenge top teams for a number 1 seed in the tournament. KU is firing on cylinders right now and took ISU’s best shot on the road and took a win home. Fans cannot help but be excited for this team if they can continue this play.
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse for back-to-back home games next weekend, starting with a nationally-televised game with West Virginia on CBS at 1 P.M. Saturday, then a match-up with Texas Tech on ESPNU Monday night. The Jayhawks have three games remaining in regular season play before the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City (March 13-16).
See the Final Stats.
If you would like to be notified when Ryan publishes an article, click “subscribe” below, follow his BLOG, follow him on TWITTER, find him on FACEBOOK or find him at Man Versus Triathlon.
Endurance Sports Examiner
Kansas City Endurance Sports Examiner
Kansas City German Shepherd Examiner
Kansas Jayhawk Basketball Examiner
General Pets Examiner
Fitness and Exercise Examiner
Outdoor Rec and Adventure Examiner
Recreational Sports Examiner