Iowa State never let 13th-ranked Kansas run away with Tuesday night's Big 12 game at Hilton Coliseum, but the visiting Jayhawks still prevailed in the end.
The Cyclones had their moments in front of another packed house in Ames but still fell to 4-9 in conference play and 13-12 overall with the loss. ISU is back in action Saturday at Kansas State.
KU led by five points and halftime and by as many as 13 points in the second half before Iowa State was able to make things tighter in the closing minutes. Kansas missed multiple free throws down the stretch to give Iowa State opportunities to perhaps pull out the upset, but the Cyclones weren't able to make the plays they needed.
Iowa State led by as many as six points in the first half.
Zoran Talley's bucket in the lane with got ISU within four points at 81-77 with 22 seconds to play. Talley was fouled on the play as well, but missed the and-1 free throw. Nick Weiler-Babb had converted a three-point play moments earlier, getting I-State within six at 81-75 with 42 seconds to go. Kansas missed the front end of two one-and-one opportunities and also missed two additional free throws in late going.
The Cyclones got within three points at 58-55 and again at 60-57 midway through the second half. But Kansas stretched the lead out to 76-63 with 4:46 left in the game before ISU made its final charge.
In the first half, Iowa State was up 17-11, on a three-pointer by Talley at the 12:13 mark. But the Jayhawks responded well to a timeout and went on a 16-4 run to build a six-point lead of their own at 27-21 with 6:50 left in the half.
A driving bucket by Nick Weiler-Babb, who returned to action for Iowa State, put the Cyclones back in front at 28-27 with just under four minutes until halftime. Kansas led at intermission, 39-34, after a Weiler-Babb three-pointer was waved off for coming just after the horn.
Cameron Lard recorded another double-double for Iowa State with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Five Cyclones were in double figures for points with Talley scoring 15, Weiler-Babb 14 and Lindell Wigginton and Solomon Young 12 each.
Iowa State out-rebounded Kansas by nine (40-31), but the Jayhawks got many uncontested shots inside over the final 20 minutes to shoot 61.5% in the second half. KU also had five scorers in double figures, led by Udoka Azubuike's 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor.