Lawrence, KS – It took overtime, but Kansas extended its home winning streak on Wednesday.
Ben McLemore was a perfect 6-for-6 behind the arc, including the tying 3- pointer with a second left in regulation, as the No. 6 Jayhawks won their 31st straight home game in a 97-89 victory against Iowa State in the Big 12 opener for both schools.
McLemore scored 33 points and Jeff Withey added 15 points with 12 rebounds, while Kevin Young also had a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards as the Jayhawks (13-1, 1-0 Big 12) won their 12th straight game of the season. Elijah Johnson scored 12 points with 10 assists in the win.
Melvin Ejim scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and five assists while Will Clyburn had 16 points and seven boards for the Cyclones (10-4, 0-1), who had won four straight coming in.
"I thought our guys played with tremendous resolve and did a great job staying in there and keeping together," said Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. "Like I told them, if we keep fighting like that and having each other's back all season long we are going to be right up there at the top of the conference when it's all said and done. Just a great effort by our guys, just could not close the deal."
Down by six, Withey tipped in a shot with 2 1/2 minutes left and Naadir Tharpe hit two free throws a minute later to get Kansas within two, 73-71.
Ejim and McLemore exchanged baskets and Ejim followed with another bucket for a 77-73 lead.
Johnson followed with a free throw and, after a missed free throw from Iowa State, Johnson hit a jumper with 16.8 seconds remaining.
Korie Lucious then hit his two from the line for a 3-point lead with 8.4 showing, but McLemore buried a three with one second left and the game went to overtime.
It was all Kansas in overtime as McLemore buried his sixth three of the game to start the scoring and Travis Releford followed with three straight free throws.
After a pair of missed from throws from Clyburn, Withey made two from the stripe and followed another miss from the Cyclones with a layup for a 10-point lead with three minutes remaining.
A McLemore layup with just over a minute to play made it a 14-point game and put the contest out of reach.
"They out played us in the second half until the last several minutes," said Kansas head coach Bill Self. "That was a man's game. There were some men out there playing down the stretch."
The game stayed close for much of the first half, but a 15-6 run by Kansas helped the team take a 42-33 lead, before Iowa State closed with the final five points to make it a 42-38 game going into the break.
A 14-1 run by Iowa State early in the second half saw the team take a 54-49 lead as Chris Babb capped the run with a pair of free throws with just over 13 minutes left.
Kansas owns a 172-59 mark all-time against Iowa State, including victories in 13 of the last 14 matchups ... Kansas shot an even 50 percent (31-of-62) from the field ... Iowa State made 41.1 percent of its attempts ... Releford posted 12 points ... Kansas has won 22 straight conference openers.