AMES, Iowa — Kansas simply couldn't keep up.
Naz Long scored 20 points and No. 11 Iowa State continually beat the ninth-ranked Jayhawks down the floor in transition and won 86-81 Saturday night, recording back-to-back wins over KU for the first time in 14 years.
Iowa State did it with speed, outscoring the Jayhawks 21-10 in transition. Kansas coach Bill Self thought that margin was even greater.
"We had it down for 27 points they had in transition," he said. "We didn't do a good job at that at all. They outplayed us, but that was the biggest difference in the game."
Georges Niang had 15 points for the Cyclones (13-3, 3-1 Big 12), who snapped Kansas' five-game winning streak and beat the Jayhawks at home for only the second time in the last 11 games.
It didn't matter if Kansas made a shot or missed, the Cyclones pushed it down the floor and the Jayhawks often were caught flat-footed.
"I think they surprised us early in the game by getting it out quick and beating us down the floor," Self said. "We started sending three guys back and sometimes, two of them forgot."
Kansas jumped to a quick five-point lead, but once the Cyclones got their transition game going, they kicked it into high gear. They also went 9-for-20 from 3-point range, with Long and Niang each hitting three.
"We knew they were going to make eight or nine 3s, but you can't give up easy points," Self said. "That was obviously the biggest thing in transition. It was basically just giving them points that they didn't have to earn."
Long followed a long 3 with a layup to give Iowa State a 71-57 lead with 6:26 left. Kansas pulled to 82-79 with 29 seconds to go, but Niang sealed the win by drawing a crucial charge with 14 seconds left.
This was perhaps the most highly anticipated home game of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg's five-year tenure in Ames.
The Cyclones didn't disappoint.
After a back-and-forth first half, Iowa State got 3s from Long and Dustin Hogue and a reverse layup from Niang to push its lead to 51-39. But the Jayhawks responded with 10 points in four minutes to keep their hopes alive.
That's when Iowa State's Jameel McKay took over.
The 6-foot-9 McKay had three buckets in 81 seconds — including an alley-oop dunk over Landen Lucas — and his block set up a Niang 3 that put the Cyclones back in front 66-55.
Self burned so many timeouts trying to slow down the fast-paced Cyclones that he had had none left for the final 6:26.
"McKay can really run," Self said. "He gives them a taller athlete. They've got good athletes without question, but he gives them a tall athlete."
McKay scored 11 points with three blocks and Monte Morris had 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for Iowa State, which allowed the Jayhawks to hang around until the very end by hitting just 10 of 18 free throws in the second half.
"If I run the floor as fast as I can, it opens up shots for the great shooters that we have," said McKay, who became eligible in December after transferring from Marquette. "When they're making shots, it opens things up for me."
All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.