Kansas spent most of the first half Monday night chasing Iowa State all over the court, unable to keep up with the visitors’ crisp ball movement and their resulting open shots.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self made a subtle tweak that changed everything. Kansas began switching five on defense, and the stops fueled a 14-0 second-half charge that gave Self’s team the lead. And unlike last weekend at West Virginia, the ninth-ranked Jayhawks made it stick down the stretch, holding on for an 80-76 victory over the No. 24 Cyclones (14-5, 4-3 Big 12).
“We buckled down,” the Jayhawks’ Devon Dotson said. “We really wanted to get that win.”
Dedric Lawson led the way for Kansas (16-3, 5-2) with 29 points and 15 rebounds.
at No. 6 Michigan State 69, No. 13 Maryland 55: Aaron Henry made the most of his opportunity to play in place of injured starter Joshua Langford. The freshman forward had a season-high 12 points for the Spartans, who have won 12 straight.
“The Henry kid, he’s really good,” Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon said. “Great defender, hard to box out. And, he makes shots. That was a key.”
Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins each scored 14 points for Michigan State (17-2, 8-0 Big Ten).
The Terrapins (16-4, 7-2) connected on only 34.4% of their shots, matching their season low.
at No. 11 North Carolina 103, No. 10 Virginia Tech 82: Freshman Coby White scored 27 points and the Tar Heels knocked down a season-high 16 three-pointers after missing 11 of their first 12 attempts.
North Carolina (15-4, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) struggled out of the gate to fall behind by nine. But it wasn’t long before just about everything started falling from behind the arc, an avalanche that sparked a game-turning 20-0 run that pushed the Tar Heels to a 45-31 halftime lead.
“I’ve seen us play like that but not in enough spurts this year in games,” coach Roy Williams said.