Once Kansas took the inside out of Iowa State's inside-outside women's basketball offense, the Jayhawks had no trouble fending off the Cyclones.
KU negated ISU forwards Janel Grimm and Jayme Olson and withstood a three-point barrage to stun No. 23 Iowa State, 65-58, on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
The victory was KU's second over a Top 25 team inside Allen this season and the Jayhawks' 14th straight over ISU.
``Our defense was actually very good,'' said KU freshman Jaclyn Johnson, who feasted on the gutted Cyclones for a career- and game-high 23 points. ``We knew Grimm and Olson were good post players and they could step out and hit the three. We just played 'em straight up.''
And shut 'em right down.
Grimm and Olson entered with a combined scoring average of 28.1 points per game and provided a much-needed inside presence to complement the ISU bomb squad. On Saturday, though, Grimm and Olson hit a combined two of 10 shots for seven points, and Olson fouled out with 5:29 remaining.
``We wanted to trap them in certain areas as much as possible, and I was upset when we didn't,'' KU coach Marian Washington said. ``They have a real nice high-low look. We were able to keep them from getting the easy looks. We definitely made it difficult for them to do some things they'd done easily before.''
Like hold onto the ball.
The Cyclones (20-5 overall, 9-3 Big 12) had 25 turnovers, while KU (16-6, 8-5) turned it over a season-low nine times.
``I expected us to have great focus,'' Washington said. ``I didn't think anyone could afford to have more than one turnover, and they really bought into that. Hopefully we can continue that.''
Kansas carried the nation's sixth-best field goal defense into Saturday's game -- and the Jayhawks were even better than their average against ISU. KU held the 'Clones to 36.2 percent, a half-point below KU's season average.
And Kansas held Iowa State, the league's best three-point shooting team, to just 28 percent (seven of 25) of its treys.
``Our gameplan was to shut down Jayme Olson and Janel Grimm,'' said KU point guard Jennifer Jackson, who contributed seven points. ``Our post people did a great job. A couple of girls got hot, but our defensive gameplan was to be effective from the start.''
It was. KU held ISU to just two field goals in the first 10 minutes, but free-throw shooting kept the 'Clones in it. The teams were tied, 26-all, at the half.
KU jumped to a 32-28 lead with 17:14 left, but Iowa State forged a tie at 36. ISU led by as many as six -- at 50-44 with 7:59 left -- but Johnson scored five unanswered points and Jackson added a basket to make it 51-50, KU, with 6:26 showing.
Iowa State last led at 53-51 with 5:53 left before a 6-0 Kansas run -- capped by yet another Johnson basket at 4:18 -- gave the Jayhawks the lead for good.
``Everybody has a night,'' Johnson said, ``and tonight was mine.''
Indeed. Johnson hit nine of 15 shots and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. She also had four steals to offset just one turnover.
``When you have a player like Jaclyn, you have to get her the ball,'' Jackson said. ``It's funny. Jac's going to be a great player. She's capable of taking on two people. Sometimes when the shot's not falling, she doesn't try. But it was falling, and I think it made her a little more aggressive.''
Megan Taylor led the Cyclones with 22 points and Stacey Frese added 17. Frese, the league's leader in three-pointers and assists, hit just four of 13 shots and two of eight threes and had seven turnovers with just two assists.
Lynn Pride and Nakia Sanford each added 10 points for KU.
The Jayhawks will play host to Colorado on Wednesday, then travel to Ames, Iowa, for the ISU rematch next Saturday.
-- Andrew Hartsock's phone number is 832-7216. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.