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Archive for Monday, February 10, 1997

KU ISU WILLOUGHBY BAR

February 10, 1997

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— When Kansas beat Iowa State, 80-67, last month in Lawrence, Dedric Willoughby missed the second half with a hamstring injury.

On Sunday afternoon, Willoughby scored a career-high 36 points.

It didn't matter. Kansas still won, this time 69-62 in Hilton Coliseum.

"I guess you get kind of pumped up when you play Kansas," Willoughby said. "After I made my first shot, I kind of got into a zone. I made myself get into the zone."

Willoughby's offensive explosion was the most by a Kansas opponent since Oklahoma State's Randy Rutherford scored 45 points on March 5, 1995.

After scoring only nine points in the previous meeting, Willoughby made 5 of 6 three-pointers in the first half. His 16-point first half culminated with an NBA-range three from the top of the key with five seconds left. That shot gave Iowa State a 32-28 halftime lead.

"I thought Dedric Willoughby was outstanding shooting the ball," Iowa State coach Tim Floyd said. "I wished we had taken better care of the ball, though."

Floyd said it was 11 turnovers in the first half and 23 overall that ultimately doomed the Cyclones.

"At times, we were our own worst enemy. We had some key turnovers in the second half," Floyd said.

It was in the second half that the Jayhawks defense took over, even on Willoughby. While Kansas started the second half on a 11-3 run to take a 39-35 lead, Willoughby was held scoreless until nailing a three with 11:45 left pulling Iowa State back within 44-42.

Willoughby hit his next three and was fouled by Kansas forward Raef LaFrentz for a four-point play cutting the Jayhawks lead to 51-47 with 9:46 remaining. However, Willoughby would not make another field goal until the 1:01 mark .

"I felt kind of winded for some stretches, but I didn't want to come out of the game," he said.

Perhaps Willoughby needed a second-half breather. He missed three of his last four three-point attempts in the final three minutes with the game on the line.

"It's tough. I'd rather have three points and us win," Willoughby said.

Floyd said Willoughby's looks were made much more difficult in the second half because of the Jayhawks' defense.

"You can't make them all. He was 9 of 16," Floyd said. "Nobody expects him to shoot 100 percent."

Even though 6-foot-11 center Kelvin Cato played only 26 minutes because of foul trouble and eventually fouled out with 6:25 remaining, Iowa State owned a 43-34 rebounding edge.

"When Kelvin Cato picked up his fifth foul, that was a pivotal point in the game," Floyd said. "That was another rebounder not in the game."

After losing to Kansas for the second time, the Cyclones left Sunday's game praising the Jayhawks and wondering where they now stand.

"They're the number one team in the nation right now. When Pollard gets back, they'll really be number one," Pratt said. "I don't know how close we are to them. We've got to wait until March to find out."

Notes

  • After leading Iowa State with 15 points in the first meeting with Kansas, forward Shawn Bankhead was held to just two points on 1 of 9 shooting. Many of Bankhead's shots were also unguarded as the Jayhawks focused their interior defense on Kenny Pratt.
  • Iowa State's second-half field goal percentage of .292 was its lowest since a stone-cold 24 percent second half at Colorado. Coincidentally, the Cyclones 70-45 defeat in Boulder was their last before Sunday.
  • Willoughby's career day broke several records. His nine three-pointers were a school record, breaking Fred Hoiberg's record of eight against Missouri on Jan. 30, 1995. His total of 36 points was the most by a Cyclone since Hoiberg's 41-point performance against Colorado on Feb. 18, 1995.
  • Speaking of Hoiberg, his jersey was retired in ceremonies before the game and at halftime. He now plays for the NBA's Indiana Pacers.

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