News, notes and quotes on No. 1 seed Kansas' matchup with No. 4 Iowa State at 6 p.m. Friday in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City. This will be a rematch of last year's semifinal game in the Big 12 Championship when Kansas beat ISU, 88-73, on March 15, 2013.
SCOUTING Iowa STATE
Iowa State (24-7) nipped K-State, 91-85, Thursday in the quarterfinals as senior forward Melvin Ejim led five players in double figures with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Dustin Hogue (19), sophomore forward Georges Niang (18), sophomore guard Naz Long (14) and senior guard DeAndre Kane (11) also scored in double digits. Freshman guard Monte Morris set the school record for assists (10) in the Big 12 Championship.
The Cyclones shot 50 percent from the field, including a scorching 60.7 percent in the second half, while making 44.4 percent (8-18) from three-point range. Iowa State, which also outrebounded KSU 38-29, won despite K-State shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 47.1 percent (8-17) from beyond the arc.
The score was tied at 78-all with 3:04 left before ISU closed the game strong.
"(We) had our backs against the wall on a couple of occasions, fought through adversity and found a way to get a big win," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Ejim, the Big 12 Player of the Year, leads the Cyclones with 18.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Kane (16.9 ppg), Niang (16.3 ppg) and Hogue (10.6 ppg) also average in double figures.
ISU is a dangerous three-point shooting team with seven players making at least 20 threes, led by Long (6.9 ppg) with 53 three-pointers. The Cyclones entered the Big 12 Championship leading the league in scoring (82.8 ppg), while also pacing the country in assists (18.6 apg) and posting a 1.78 assist-to-turnover ratio (No. 2 in nation).
SELF ON THE CYCLONES
KU coach Bill Self said the ISU matchup will be between two teams who played extremely hard in the quarterfinal games.
"That took everything we had," Self said about the overtime win over OSU. "We had to play out of foul trouble, and I think it took everything Iowa State had to win earlier today. So you'll have two tired teams that have to recover fast and get ready tomorrow."
Freshman guard Wayne Selden, Jr., who had 14 points against Oklahoma State, knows the Cyclones pose a great challenge.
"They're a good team," he said. "We know we have to come out and compete. They have a lot of players that can score all over the floor."
LAST TIME OUT
KU has beaten ISU twice this season with the Jayhawks winning 77-70 at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 13, and also defeating ISU, 92-81, in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 29. Wiggins led five players in double figures in the last contest with a then-career-high 29 points. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis also came up big with 20 points and six rebounds.
Niang paced Iowa State with 24 points, while Kane scored 22 and Ejim added 18. KU outrebounded Iowa State 38-28 and had 19 second-chance points to just four for ISU.
Kansas improved to 36-8 all time in the Big 12 Championship and 16-2 in quarterfinal matchups. The overtime contest was the first in a quarterfinal game since 2000 and just the seventh overall in the history of the tournament. KU is 2-0 in overtime games in the championship.
Wiggins recorded his 10th game of the season with 20 or more points. He finished with 30 or more points for the second straight contest.
Senior forward Tarik Black's 12 rebounds tied a career high, set while playing for Memphis. It was also his first double-digit board game of the year. Black, who played out of foul trouble, also scored seven points in 26 minutes.
Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor, who had six points and nine rebounds, played a career-high 27 minutes.