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Kansas Jayhawks cruise past Iowa State Cyclones, win 11th straight game

The Kansas Jayhawks have won 11 games in a row and have won consecutive contests in blowout fashion. The most recent one came on Monday night when KU crushed Iowa State 91-71 at home.

After scoring just 58 points in a win last Wednesday over West Virginia the Jayhawks have exploded offensively in their last two games. On Saturday Kansas took down Oklahoma by 17 and scored 87 points, followed up by the most points its scored in a Big 12 game this season on Monday.

One of the key similarities between the two games was a starting guard going unconscious from three-point range. It was junior Marcus Garrett over the weekend, going 6-of-9 from deep. Sophomore Devon Dotson was the star against Iowa State, hitting six of his own on eight attempts.

Six three pointers made is a new career high for Dotson and is a bright spot in a season that has been filled with struggles from three-point range, as he came into the game shooting about 28% from beyond the arc for the year.

“Devon’s a good shooter and he hasn’t made shots basically all year,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It was good to see him get the ball to go down … We did some good things, but none was better than Devon.”

The threes were part of a 29-point, 11-of-14 performance for the national player of the year candidate, the second most he’s ever scored in his career.

“He looked great offensively,” freshman guard Christian Braun said about Dotson. “We weren’t playing as good on defense, it was an offensive game, so him hitting all those shots helped us.”

Dotson was one of five Jayhawks who finished with double figures in points in the win. Braun scored 13, all of which came in the first half, and sophomore Ochai Agbaji added 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting to round out the high-scoring guards.

For Braun, it was his first double-digit effort since Jan. 27.

“Christian needed something good to happen,” Self said. “It was nice to see him get some looks and be aggressive.”

KU was able to dominate down low as well, specifically trying to get senior center Udoka Azubuike in a rhythm early. He finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, and presented a matchup problem in the lane for a smaller Iowa State group.

“If we knock down shots, [Azubuike] gets easier buckets,” Braun said.

Sophomore forward David McCormack also scored 10 points.

The Jayhawks continued to show off their elite defense in the second half when they held the Cyclones to just 31 points and 12-of-36 shooting, but Iowa State was in a groove offensively to start the game. Iowa State went 9-of-12 from three in the first half, far better than their season average of 31.9% shooting from long distance.

In the second half, however, the Cyclones were just 2-of-11 from three.

“I think, the first half, we let them be comfortable. It was just a H-O-R-S-E contest,” Self said. “We did a bad job of running them off the line. In the second half they took about as many threes, but I think they were better contested.”

Even with the hot shooting effort from ISU, Kansas led by 10 points heading into halftime. Iowa State coach Steve Prohm implied that it was frustrating to shoot so well and still be down so much at the break.

“If you get 40 in the half at this place you’d think you’d be in pretty good shape,” Prohm said, adding that he figured 40 points would be good enough to be within one possession or leading at halftime.

Along with the victory, it was a historic night for the program. Former Jayhawk Marcus Morris, the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year, had his jersey officially retired. He spoke to the crowd after his jersey was revealed in the rafters and was joined on the court by his twin brother and fellow former Jayhawk, Markieff. Several of their former teammates were in attendance for the celebration as well/

“I was happy to see [the Morris twins], and obviously they had a lot of teammates come back to see them too,” Self said. “Pretty special to see those guys come back as husbands and parents.”

Additionally, the victory on Monday was KU’s 800th inside Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks will hit the road for their next game, which will be arguably the biggest game of the year nationwide. Kansas will visit No. 1-ranked Baylor on Saturday, with at least a share of the Big 12 title on the line.

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