Back home following a challenging two-game trip, Kansas looks to add to the nation’s longest home winning streak. Facing an Iowa State team that has dropped 13 in a row on the road in Big 12 play gives the 15th-ranked Jayhawks a great chance to make it 38 straight wins at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas (20-5, 9-1) goes for its eighth victory in a row over the Cyclones on Wednesday night following Saturday’s 85-74 win over Kansas State. Coming off a 62-60 loss to then-No. 17 Missouri on Feb. 9, the Jayhawks rallied from a 30-14 first-half deficit to the Wildcats as the program won its 20th game for the 20th consecutive season.
“We were just laboring, but the guys just hung tough,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, 10-2 in his career against Iowa State. “That’s probably as good a road win we’ve had since I’ve been at Kansas, considering the circumstances, how young and the environment.”
Sophomore center Cole Aldrich scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the second half.
“We have been through a lot this week playing Missouri and then here,” he said. “The Missouri game hit us hard and we really wanted to get back on our feet today. We showed a lot of character by coming back and playing well.”
Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots per game with 2.56 and is second to Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin in rebounding (10.2) and field goal percentage (61.0), but he’ll need another big outing Wednesday to hold off Iowa State forward Craig Brackins. The sophomore had a career-high 42 points with 14 rebounds in the Cyclones’ 82-67 loss to Kansas on Jan. 24. It was the most points scored against the Jayhawks since Randy Rutherford had 45 in Oklahoma State’s 78-62 loss in Lawrence on March 5, 1995.
Brackins just missed his 11th double-double of the season Saturday with 27 points and nine boards in an 86-67 loss at Oklahoma State.
The Cyclones had an opportunity for their first conference road win since a 69-63 victory over Nebraska on Feb. 28, 2007, but were outscored 50-33 in the final 20 minutes Saturday.
“We did not respond defensively at the start of the second half,” Iowa State coach Gregg McDermott told the school’s official Web site. “OSU really set the tone by putting its shoulder down and getting to the basket.”
Another solid performance from Kansas forward Marcus Morris could help neutralize Brackins. Morris, a freshman, scored a season-high 15 points with seven boards and four assists versus Kansas State. Morris, however, went scoreless in 19 minutes in the Jayhawks’ win against Iowa State last month.
Sherron Collins had 19 points Saturday after missing 9-of-13 shots and scoring nine points in the loss to Missouri.
Collins matched a career-high with 26 points in the win at Iowa State on Jan. 24.
Iowa State has dropped three straight at Allen Fieldhouse since a 63-61 overtime win over the then-second-ranked Jayhawks on Feb. 19, 2005, its last victory against Kansas.
The Cyclones are second in the Big 12 in scoring defense at 63.8 points per game. Kansas is averaging 82.9 points during its seven-game winning streak against Iowa State.