Jayhawks cruise to 89-66 victory

The Iowa State Cyclones brought a knife to a gunfight at Allen Field House Saturday and the result was about what you'd expect.

The soon-to-be #1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks slapped around the Cyclones, 89-66.

The Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, led five Kansas players in double figures: Marcus with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Markieff 14 and 11. Markieff also dished six assists.

Tyshawn Taylor matched Kieff with 14 and six assists, as well. Brady Morningstar continued his offensive resurgence with 13 points to go with three assists.

Meanwhile, Iowa State chucked 32 three-pointers, making 14. By comparison, they made just 11 two-pointers. The Cyclones were a far cry from the team they were when their first-year coach Fred Hoiberg – The Mayor of Ames – ran the show.

Kansas took control quickly. They had a 10-8 lead going into the under-16 media timeout. With 5:20 left to go in the first half, Kansas lead, 37-14, en route to a 45-26 halftime lead. Taylor said it's all about firepower.

"We've got a lot of guys who can score," he said. "We're real unselfish, we move the ball around and everybody's getting touches. Most of the shots we're taking are pretty good shots, and we've got guys that can knock 'em down."

Head coach Bill Self didn't find much wrong with his team's offensive performance, in the first half, in particular. For good reason: the Jayhawks were very efficient. They had 24 assists on their 33 field goals and just nine turnovers.

Self said, "I think we moved the ball pretty good tonight and shared it. We didn't get the ball inside as much early and shot too many jumpers. We still shot too many jumpers for the game, but when your two best passers are your two biggest guys (the Morris brothers), it can make things look pretty good and run pretty smooth."

"We've been like this the last six games," he continued. "We've shared the ball pretty well the last six games."

The always defensive-minded KU coach was careful in his evaluation of his team's defensive effort, but overall, he was pleased. He was especially happy with the job Tyshawn Taylor did to contain Iowa State star Diante Garrett, who dropped 27 points on the Jayhawks in the first game. He had 12 Saturday.

"Tyshawn was the biggest difference," Self acknowledged. "Last time, (Garrett) got 27 points on 25 shots. This time, he got 12 (points) on 13 shots."

Self wasn't overly concerned with Iowa State's three-point shooting. He acknowledged that ISU coach Hoiberg probably thought the drive-and-kick-out was his team's best chance to win.

"I would say that the majority of the threes they got were either off the bounce, which is usually not a high percentage shot, or off penetrate-and-pitch, where you switch ball screens and you had Marcus or Markieff on a guard. Yeah, they shot the heck out of the ball."

"Bottom line is, they made shots," he said.

Not that the three-ball is the Cyclone's secret weapon: Self was quick to point out that with their 32 threes in this game in Lawrence, they took a total of 63 shots from behind the arc in two games against KU.

Self was confident, however, that the Clones – a team with just seven scholarship players – would be back. He reflected back on his first season as a head coach, a season in which his Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles lost 18 in a row.

"Thing is, we weren't in the game," Self admitted. "They're in the games. They've lost six games where they've lead in the last minute. (Hoiberg's) done a great job, put 'em in a position to win the game, but they have no margin for error from an injury standpoint.

"(Hoiberg's) got some players comin', though, and he's doing a great job," the coach said.

Kansas gets geared up for another Big Monday game – this week against Kansas State in Manhattan. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:10 p.m., which is, of course, subject to the ending time of the 48-42 triple-overtime Big East foul-fest that precedes it.

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