LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — KJ Adams scored in the paint, breaking a tie with under 12 seconds left and No. 2 Kansas held off No. 14 Iowa State 62-60 Saturday.
Iowa State had a last shot to win, but Maize native Caleb Grill’s 3-point attempt caromed off the rim at the buzzer.
“I don’t know that this many close games helps you in the postseason,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Close games help you because you put yourself under duress, but I would welcome anything that’s a win. We don’t go into any game thinking it’s going to be easy.”
“Today was Iowa State, then we’re at K-State, ranked 11th, TCU, Baylor, Kentucky then K-State and Iowa State right after that. That’s a joke. There’s not going to be any (easy) games,” he said.
The Jayhawks commemorated 125 years of Kansas basketball, with more than 160 former players, coaches and staff at Allen Fieldhouse. They saw it go down to the last second.
“Caleb pulled up for a tough shot and it didn’t fall,” Iowa State coach TJ Otzelberger said.
“Credit to them. They were able to make one more play in a really good game to come out for the victory,” he said.
Kansas (16-1, 5-0 Big 12) was led by Gradey Dick with 21 points. Jalen Wilson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Adams had 15 points.
Gabe Kalscheur scored 23 points for the Cyclones (13-3, 4-1). Osun Osunniyi chipped in 14.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to build more than a four-point lead in the second half. There were 12 lead changes in the second half alone.
Kansas took a 59-57 lead with just under two minutes remaining on a put-back by Wilson.
After an Iowa State miss, Kansas ran 25 seconds off the shot clock before putting up a contested 3-pointer. Several offensive rebounds resulted in Adams shooting two free throws with 1:03 left, and he made one for a three-point lead.
Kalscheur tied it with a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left. Adams then powered inside to put Kansas ahead.
“It just kind of played out. Thankfully I made the shot,” Adams said.
Self was happy with the result.
“That was a high-level game,” Self said. “You saw two teams that enjoyed playing in a tight game like that in an atmosphere like that. No easy baskets. I wish we would have shot it better. But they’re good.”
“The building was great. To win with so many guys back for the reunion will definitely make tonight a lot more pleasant,” he said.
Kansas went on a 12-0 run to seize control early, but Iowa State rallied and closed to 29-28 at halftime. The Jayhawks took just 22 shots before the break and failed to get an offensive rebound in the first half.
Iowa State: The Cyclones should be a factor in the Big 12 race to the end. They can win on the road and Hilton Coliseum is one of the toughest venues in the conference.
Kansas: The Jayhawks always get their opponents’ best shot, but it often doesn’t matter. Head coach Bill Self still has as many conference titles as home losses in his 20 seasons at Kansas.
Iowa State: The Cyclones return home to face No. 10 Texas on Tuesday night.
Kansas: The Jayhawks will have their first matchup of the season with in-state rival Kansas State on Tuesday night in Manhattan, Kansas.