AMES, Iowa -- Royce White has been so bad from the free throw line lately that his struggles have literally turned into nightmares.
A few hours after waking up from a dream in which he couldn't hit anything from the line, White sank the two biggest freebies of his career to give Iowa State a landmark win for coach Fred Hoiberg.
White had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Cyclones upset fifth-ranked Kansas 72-64 on Saturday, snapping the Jayhawks' winning streak at 10 games.
White, the versatile big man who entered shooting an abysmal 39 percent from the line in Big 12 games, hit a pair that rattled in to put Iowa State up 64-59 with 1:47 left.
Kansas then threw the ball away and Chris Babb drained a backbreaking 3 to give the Cyclones an eight-point lead with 55.6 seconds left.
"I woke up this morning dreaming about missing free throws. So I was in the gym this morning and shot free throws trying to get it right," White said. "Teammates keep encouraging me and telling me, 'You can make free throws.'"
Tyshawn Taylor led five players in double figures with 16 points and 10 assists for Kansas (17-4, 7-1 Big 12), which hadn't lost since Dec. 19 against Davidson.
Big 12 player of the year favorite Thomas Robinson had 13 points, but he committed five turnovers and the Jayhawks were outrebounded 36-23.
"I thought we got stops, but I didn't think we cleaned up. How many times did they miss a shot and the ball go off of us and us not secure or whatever?" Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Obviously, we didn't do a good last 3 minutes defensively at all."
Melvin Ejim had 15 points and Scott Christopherson added 14 for the Cyclones (15-6, 5-3), who had lost 13 straight to Kansas since their last victory in 2005. Iowa State students celebrated the program's biggest win in years -- and first over Kansas at home since 2004 -- by storming the floor.
"It was a great win for our program. But like I told our guys, you know, you've got to expect to win your home games," Hoiberg said. "I told the guys to enjoy it and get refocused."
This was Kansas' toughest true road test of the year so far -- and it ended with the Jayhawks' first true road loss of the season.
But Kansas caught the Cyclones napping to start the second half and took its biggest lead to that point, 45-39, thanks to an 11-0 run. Big man Anthony Booker brought Iowa State back, sinking a rare 3-pointer to put the Cyclones ahead 50-49 with 12:13 left.
Neither team could get much going over the next 6 minutes, but Tyrus McGee's three-point play gave Iowa State a 56-53 lead with just over 6 minutes left. Robinson then blew an open dunk and White hit two layups -- one a reverse he spun off the glass -- to make it 60-55 Iowa State with 3:42 left.
"This was our first true road game with a good crowd, a good atmosphere. So, we're going to be seeing that from now on," Taylor said. "Our emphasis this week in practice is just going to be taking care of the ball and just rebound and rebound. You can't lose on the boards like that."
Iowa State fed off the energy of its second sellout crowd of the year and jumped on the Jayhawks early.
Booker drilled a 3 and Babb followed with a steal and layup that put Iowa State ahead 19-11, prompting Self to call timeout.
Kansas finally took a 31-29 lead on an impressive scoop through traffic from Taylor with 3:31 left before the break. Iowa State rallied to grab the halftime advantage, 37-33, despite committing 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
The Cyclones led in part because of their defense on Robinson. He was 1-of-6 shooting in the first half and traveled three times trying to free himself up for shots in the paint.
"Just not playing my game. Speeding up the game and not taking my time. I'm just not playing the same right now," Robinson said.
Kansas certainly knew what Iowa State was capable of after the Cyclones threw a scare into the Jayhawks in Lawrence two weeks ago.
Iowa State led at halftime Jan. 14 and pushed its lead to as many as 12 points before Kansas stormed back for an 82-73 win. The Cyclones might have been able to pull off that upset had they shot better than 2 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half.
Iowa State didn't let the opportunity pass by this time around -- and it now has a marquee win that will look great on its resume come March.
"It definitely feels good to beat them. We felt like we should have won the first time," said White, who finished 6 of 11 from the line. "We knew that it was basically a must-win for us."
- Steve Olson
- Darron George
- Gary Maxwell