Marcus Morris Career Night Lifts No. 3 Kansas Over Iowa State in Conference Opener
Jan. 12, 2011
AMES, Iowa –
A career-high 33 points and personal-best 13 rebounds from junior forward Marcus Morris helped lift No. 3 Kansas basketball over Iowa State, 84-79, Wednesday evening in the Jayhawks’ Big 12 Conference opener.
With the win, KU remained perfect on the year at 16-0 while winning its 20th-straight conference opener. ISU fell to 13-4 overall, including 0-2 in league play.
Morris’ 33 points were the most points by a Jayhawk since Sherron Collins scored 33 versus Cornell back on Jan. 6, 2010.
With 1:55 remaining in the contest, Marcus Morris hit a jumper followed by a layup from Markieff Morris some 40 seconds later to extend KU’s lead to 78-69. However, the Cyclones, as was the case throughout the game, refused to go away coming as close as four points down the stretch.
Marcus completed a traditional three-point play and added another free throw in the final minute to put the Jayhawks up 83-76. But with four seconds remaining, ISU hit three-straight free throws to threaten at 83-79. With little time left on the clock, the Cyclones were forced to foul, sending Markieff to the line, where he went 1-for-2 to give Kansas its final score, 84-79.
The Morris twins each recorded a double-double for the second-straight contest. While Marcus led the team in both points (33) and rebounds (13), Markieff collected 17 points and 11 boards.
Joining the pair in double-figure scoring was freshman Josh Selby, who added 14 points in the effort. Senior Mario Little provided a spark off the bench for KU recording eight points and four rebounds in his first game back following a six-game suspension.
Kansas out-shot its 15th opponent this season hitting 46.9 percent from the field led by Marcus Morris’ 73.3 percent on 11-of-15 shooting. ISU shot 42.3 percent from the field as it was out-shot for just the third time this year.
A 7-0 run by Iowa State at the start of the second half helped put the Cyclones within one point, 48-47, with 15:30 left in the game. A key three-pointer from Selby though in KU’s next possession helped spark a 13-2 Jayhawk run to squash the threat. Though the teams traded points for the remainder of the game, Kansas’ early push helped hold the advantage.
During the first half, Kansas went on an 11-0 run at the 7:45 mark while holding the Cyclones without a point for four minutes to gain a 37-24 lead, its largest advantage of the contest. However, ISU out-scored the Jayhawks 10-3 in the final 3:40 of the half as KU struggled from the charity stripe hitting 3-of-6. For the game, Kansas would go 19-for-31 (61.3 percent) at the free throw line.
Marcus Morris and Selby each had 11 points through the first 20 minutes as the Jayhawks led 40-34 heading into the break.
Kansas returns home to host Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. The Jayhawks then play their first of four ESPN Big Monday games at Baylor on Jan. 17 at 8:30 p.m.