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No. 6 Kansas rallies past Iowa State in OT 108-96

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm •  Published: February 25, 2013
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AMES, Iowa (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self has 500 wins because Elijah Johnson "blacked out."

That's the only way Johnson could describe one of the great performances by a Kansas player under Self.

Johnson scored a career-high 39 points — including eight in the final 29 seconds of regulation and 12 in overtime — and No. 6 Kansas rallied to beat Iowa State 108-96 on Monday night for Self's milestone victory.

Travis Releford added 19 points for the Jayhawks (24-4, 12-3 Big 12), who snapped Iowa State's 22-game home winning streak and kept pace with No. 13 Kansas State atop the Big 12.

"He was unbelievable. He was the best player in the country (Monday night)," Self said. "That will go down as one of the better games that any guard has ever played at Kansas."

It's hard to remember a more clutch 5½ minutes of basketball by anyone on any team this season.

Johnson hit two 3s and made two free throws with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 90-all. He and Releford buried 3s to put Kansas ahead 100-92 with 2:03 left, and Johnson drilled a 30-footer with 54 seconds left that deflated a sellout crowd.

Johnson said that a personal conversation with Self on the bench put him in a zone that doomed the Cyclones.

"It was a locker room type of conversation. It just happened to happen during a game. I feel like that kind of set some fire through my body," Johnson said. "My teammates saw me responding."

Korie Lucious scored 23 points and Tyrus McGee had 22 for the Cyclones (19-9, 9-6), who dropped their third overtime game in Big 12 play — and their second straight at the hands of the Jayhawks.

After the game a handful of those in the student section hurled small plastic megaphones at the Jayhawks as they ran back to their locker room.

The anger seemed to be directed at Johnson's dunk with 2 seconds left and the game well in hand. Johnson opened the post-game news conference by apologizing to Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, saying he simply got caught up in the moment.

"I shouldn't have dunked that ball," Johnson said.

For all the talk concerning Self's quest for win No. 500, this game seemed destined to hinge upon whether Iowa State, one of the nation's best offenses, could score enough on the stingy Jayhawks, the nation's leader in field goal percentage defense entering play.

As it turned out, both teams had little trouble making shots until overtime.

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