Fifth-seeded Iowa State surged to a 17-point second-half lead and coasted to a 78-66 victory over No. 17 Kansas on Saturday in the final of the Big 12 Championship at Kansas City, Mo.
Iowa State’s lead never shrank to less than nine points the rest of the way. The Cyclones earned the Big 12’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid, though both teams were locks before the tournament started.
The Cyclones (23-11) are now 5-0 all time in Big 12 Conference title games.
Iowa State’s Marial Shayok was named most outstanding player on the all-tournament team. Lindell Wigginton and Michael Jacobson joined him from the Cyclones, with Devon Dotson and Dedric Lawson representing Kansas.
Despite the fact that Sprint Center is just 45 miles from Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse, the crowd was slanted toward the Cyclones.
Iowa State was led by Wigginton with 17 points off the bench. He was joined by Shayok with 15 points, Jacobson with 14 and Tyrese Haliburton with 11.
Kansas (25-9) was led by Lawson with 18 points and eight rebounds. Dotson added 17 points, and Quentin Grimes had 10 points. Marcus Garrett had seven points and 15 rebounds.
Both teams shot significantly better in a high-scoring second half. The Cyclones were 13 of 23 from the field, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Kansas was 18 of 35 from the field after intermission.
Up by 10 heading into the second half, the Cyclones began the period with a 9-2 run to take a 41-24 lead on a Jacobson jumper. Kansas rallied back within 10, 45-35, but the Cyclones scored seven unanswered to widen the gap.
Kansas got within nine points, 60-51, on a Lawson layup with 7:11 left, but Nick Weiler-Babb responded with two free throws and a 3-pointer for Iowa State. The Jayhawks last shot within nine was at 72-63 with 2:22 left, but they were unable to make a serious threat.
The first half was close most of the way, with the largest lead by either team being a five-point cushion held briefly by Iowa State. But then the Cyclones went on an 11-0 run to take a 32-21 lead just before halftime. The Cyclones went to the locker room up 32-22.
—Field Level Media