Big 12 Conference Tournament Recaps
(Friday, March 15th)
Final Score: (7) Kansas 88, Iowa State 73
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Perry Ellis came off the bench to score 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting, as seventh-ranked Kansas pulled away in the second half for an 88-73 win over Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson each added 14 points for the top-seeded Jayhawks (28-5), who will face 11th-ranked Kansas State in Saturday's title game. Ben McLemore ended with 10 points for Kansas, which beat the Cyclones for the 16th time in the last 17 meetings.
Georges Niang scored 19 points and Melvin Ejim added 17 for Iowa State (22-11), which had won three in a row entering Friday's contest. The Cyclones upended Oklahoma in Thursday's quarterfinals, but had a difficult time against Kansas' size.
"They're a big, strong team," Ejim said. "They're able to use their size to their advantage to that. And they were able to get to the loose balls, loose rebounds, and that was a big part of why we lost."
Iowa State led by as many as eight points in the first half, although that was early at 12-4 following a 3-pointer from Ejim.
The Jayhawks pushed ahead for good following eight consecutive points. Naadir Tharpe capped the burst with a layup with 2:26 left for a 32-26 difference.
Kansas held a 35-31 edge at the break thanks to Travis Releford's 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
"It was a big momentum boost to go into the locker room with energy pumped up and just come out and feed off of that," Johnson said.
The Jayhawks took over by shooting an astonishing 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) from the field in the second half, while holding the Cyclones to 42.9 percent. Kansas used a 17-6 run early in the period to assume a 55-39 cushion.
Iowa State didn't get closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Kansas dominated the points in the paint, 50-32 ... Tyrus McGee had 12 points for Iowa State ... Kansas advanced to its 10th Big 12 title game and 18th overall league tourney championship tilt.
Final Score: (11) Kansas State 68, (14) Oklahoma State 57
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Rodney McGruder scored 25 points and Angel Rodriguez added 17, as 11th-ranked Kansas State beat No. 14 Oklahoma State, 68-57, in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
Jordan Henriquez had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats (27-6), who will try for their first Big 12 tourney title Saturday against seventh-ranked Kansas.
The Wildcats lost to the Jayhawks in the 2010 championship game and lost to Kansas twice this regular season.
Marcus Smart scored 18 and Le'Bryan Nash added 11 for the Cowboys (24-8), who edged Baylor on Thursday.
K-State was up by five at the half, but then limited the Cowboys to 29 percent shooting (9-of-31) in the final 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the Wildcats went 12- of-24 from the field.
Oklahoma State scored nine in a row early on for an 11-7 edge. K-State used a flurry of its own late, a 16-4 push, and held a 28-23 lead at the break.
McGruder's jumper quickly pushed the advantage to double digits at 36-25 before Oklahoma State got within 37-31 on a pair of free throws from Brian Williams.
K-State pulled away for good, though, with an ensuing 9-2 spurt. Thomas Gipson capped the run with a dunk with 11:35 remaining.
"We got on transition. We forced them to take some bad shots," McGruder said. "That allowed us to push the ball a little bit on the break, and we got baskets."
The Cowboys didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
"We just weren't in rhythm to start the game and it just carried over as the game went on. And we just couldn't find the rhythm, and it just hurt us," Smart said.
McGruder had nine rebounds ... The Cowboys finished 30.5 percent from the field, including 5-of-21 from 3-point range.
03/16 01:29:24 ET