Tharpe scores 23 and No. 15 Kansas beats No. 8 Iowa State 77-70 for 3-0 start in Big 12
AMES, Iowa – Naadir Tharpe scored a career-high 23 points, freshman Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and 19 rebounds and No. 15 Kansas beat No. 8 Iowa State 77-70 on Monday night for its third straight win to open Big 12 play.
The Jayhawks (12-4, 3-0) handed the Cyclones their second consecutive loss after a 14-0 start.
Kansas opened the second half with a 16-5 run and led the rest of the way.
Joel Embiid finished with 16 points and five blocks for the Jayhawks, who outrebounded Iowa State 53-36 in perhaps their most impressive win of the season.
DeAndre Kane, who sprained an ankle in the loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, had 21 points for Iowa State (14-2, 2-2), which lost for the 17th time in 18 games against Kansas.
The Cyclones, the Big 12's top 3-point shooting team, were a dreadful 4 of 25 from beyond the arc.
Kane, who led the Big 12 with 22.7 points, 6.3 assists and 3.3 steals through three league games, responded well enough to around the clock treatment on his left ankle that he has able to start.
It didn't provide the early boost the Cyclones were looking for.
Kansas jumped all over Iowa State, rolling to a quick 15-4 lead less than 5 minutes in. But the Cyclones fought their way back to tie the game at 36-all on Kane's 3 at the halftime buzzer.
The Jayhawks started the second half the way they did the first. Perry Ellis extended their lead to 52-41 with a slam with 13:32 left, and Embiid wrapped two baskets around a blocked shot as Kansas went ahead 64-53.
Kane could have made it a one-possession game with under a minute left, but he missed a layup and Tharpe answered with two free throws.
Kansas committed 24 turnovers, but it survived by shooting 49 percent from the field and dominating the glass.
Iowa State had longed for another crack at Kansas at home after the Jayhawks rallied for a contentious overtime win here last season.
Elijah Johnson tied the game with free throws with 4.9 seconds left after a foul call that had the Cyclones howling. Johnson then capped a brilliant late-game performance with a dunk with 2 seconds left and Kansas up 10, and some Iowa State fans tossed their giveaway plastic megaphones at the victorious Jayhawks in disgust.
But Kansas simply confounded this season's Cyclones with their size and length, and Iowa State's inability to knock down 3s was too much to overcome.
Melvin Ejim had 15 points for Iowa State, but forward Georges Niang had 11 points on 4-of-20 shooting from the field.