Jones, King lead No. 7 Iowa State to 76-57 win over Kansas State in Big 12 tourney quarterfinals

Thu, Mar 14, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Jones, King lead No. 7 Iowa State to 76-57 win over Kansas State in Big 12 tourney quarterfinals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Robert Jones scored 18 points, Tre King added 16 points and No. 7 Iowa State harried Kansas State into 20 turnovers on Thursday night, allowing the Cyclones to cruise to a 76-57 victory in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Keshon Gilbert added 12 points and six steals and Tamin Lipsey had 11 points for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (25-7), who were clinging to a 40-39 lead with about 16 minutes to go when the Wildcats' turnovers really began to pile up.

Tylor Perry had 18 points, Arthur Kaluma scored 13 and Will McNair Jr. had 12 points for 10th-seeded Kansas State (19-14), which may have popped its own NCAA Tournament bubble through its own offensive ineptitude.

The Wildcats were hanging precipitously on the NCAA bubble until late-season losses to Cincinnati and Kansas put them in desperation mode. They responded with a win over Iowa State on senior day, then beat seventh-seeded Texas - an almost certain tourney team - on Wednesday to earn the opportunity for another marquee win over the Cyclones.

But this is the Big 12 Tournament, where Iowa State always seems to show up.

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The four-time champs methodically went about their business in the first half Thursday night, building a 34-27 halftime lead by beating Kansas State to loose balls and turning dominance in the paint into a bunch of second-chance baskets.

They won the kind of hustle plays Kansas State won when the teams met at Bramlage Coliseum last Saturday.

The Wildcats tried to make a second-half run, closing within 40-39 on McNair's layup with 16 minutes to go. But then a team ranked 338th out of 351 teams in Division I in turnovers proceeded to cough the ball up on five of its next seven trips down the floor, and the Cyclones capitalized behind Hason Ward and Milan Momcilovic to pull away again.

They outscored Kansas State 26-6 over the next 10 minutes to put the game away.

UP NEXT

Kansas State is left to hope three wins over top-10 teams is enough to get it into the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

Iowa State will play the winner of No. 14 Baylor vs. Cincinnati in the semifinals. The Cyclones lost to the Bears in February on a layup in the closing seconds, a game better remembered for the Bears' Scott Drew getting ejected, and beat Cincinnati later in the month when the Cyclones forced 25 turnovers.

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