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Iowa State upsets Kansas, Holmes upsets stomach
No. 13 Cyclones beat No. 8 Jayhawks, 68-53, snapping a 7-game losing streak in the series
AMES — Jaren Holmes felt a bit groggy. The Iowa State guard’s stomach hurt. So after going scoreless in the first half of Saturday’s high-stakes game against No. 8 Kansas at Hilton Coliseum, Holmes desperately needed a different kind of bucket.
“I went in the locker room and I threw up,” said Holmes, who scored 15 points in the second half to help propel the 13th-ranked Cyclones to a commanding 68-53 win over the Jayhawks. “100 percent serious.”
Holmes said he’s been hampered by illness recently, hence the need for the halftime purge. He felt much better after that — and it showed as the graduate transfer guard drilled all four of his 3-point attempts after the break.
“That second half, again, the want-to, the heart, the care — knowing that we need him to step up,” ISU head coach T.J. Otzelberger said of Holmes, who helped the Cyclones snap a seven-game skid in the series. “He’s an unbelievable young man. Great leader. A winner in every facet of the word.”
ISU (16-6, 7-3 Big 12) held Kansas to 38.6 percent shooting, forced 20 turnovers and crafted a robust 36-to-16 edge in points in the paint. Holmes’ former St. Bonaventure teammate, Osun Osunniyi added 13 points, Tre King chipped in 10, and Caleb Grill and Tamin Lipsey each notched nine points for the Cyclones, who recorded their fifth top-10 win since Otzelberger took over the program last season.
“It appeared to me that they probably got 70 to 80 percent of all the balls that were 50-50,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self, whose team fell to 18-5 overall and 6-4 in league play. “And that’s usually a true indication of energy and effort.”
The Cyclones used a pair of 7-0 runs in the first half to build and extend a double-digit lead.
The first spurt came early, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 9-3 advantage. The last one capped the half and gave ISU a 33-21 lead that Kansas whittled to five, at 36-31, before six straight points from Holmes restored a double-digit edge.
ISU led by as many as 19 points and posted its second most-lopsided win over the Jayhawks since 1985.
“On the road, it’s hard to get (going), especially with the environment here that’s always great,” said the Jayhawks’ Jalen Wilson, who scored a game-high 26 points. “You’ve got to come ready to play on the road.”
Holmes and Lipsey, in particular, made pivotal plays for the Cyclones down the stretch. Lipsey nearly posted a triple-double (nine points, 10 assists, eight rebounds) one game after struggling late in Monday's 80-77 overtime loss to Texas Tech. His eight rebounds were a career high and one turned into a nifty putback basket from his hip after a Grill steal and missed layup.
“Stone cold,” Holmes, 24, said of Lipsey, 19. “He’s no longer a freshman, like I said, and I stand by that.”
So does Otzelberger, who said Lipsey felt that he’d let the team down in the loss to the Red Raiders.
“He cares so much and how he bounced back, it wasn’t words, it was actions,” Otzelberger said.
Same goes for Holmes, who hit 5 of the 6 field goal attempts he hoisted up after his halftime.
“I know that I’m going to hit him and he’s gonna hit the shots,” Lipsey said. “He knows that I’m looking for him, so we just have that great connectedness.”