The Iowa State Cyclones made an early statement in Big 12 play by taking down the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks 77-60 at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday.
Iowa State senior Marial Shayok led the upset charge with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
The Cyclones entered play with an impressive 11-2 record, but they had yet to prove themselves against stiff competition, losing to then-No. 18 Iowa by 14 points in their only game against a ranked opponent.
That changed in a big way this weekend.
This was a back-and-forth affair throughout the first half, with Iowa State managing to take a four-point lead into the break. After halftime, though, it was all Cyclones.
Iowa State upped its lead coming out of the locker room, extending it to double digits by the midway point of the second half. From that point on, it was just a countdown to double zeroes on the clock, as the Jayhawks were never able to muster up any sort of rally.
The margin grew to 19 in the closing minutes, but the Cyclones ultimately had to settle for a 17-point victory over the Big 12 favorites.
There are two telling statistics of this game: three-point shooting and turnovers. The Cyclones (13-of-25) more than doubled the Jayhawks (6-of-20) from behind the arc while shooting an impressive 52 percent from distance. Add in Kansas' 24 turnovers, and it was the perfect storm for an upset.
Kansas, which was playing without center Udoka Azubuike, had just two players—Quentin Grimes (19 points) and Dedric Lawson (13)—reach double figures. Meanwhile, Iowa State had three players do so, with Shayok, Tyrese Haliburton (14) and Nick Weiler-Babb (12) all reaching the mark.
Incredibly, Shayok and Haliburton combined to go 9-of-10 from three-point range.
It marks the Cyclones' first victory over the Jayhawks in Ames since Jan. 25, 2016.
Oddly enough, this is the second consecutive year in which the Jayhawks dropped their second game of conference play. They lost to Texas Tech at home in January 2018. That upset would not stop Kansas from claiming its 14th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title, though.
Kansas will have a couple of weeks to try to get healthy and make adjustments before the teams' next meeting. The Jayhawks will have a chance to exact some revenge when the Cyclones visit Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, on Jan. 21.