AMES — Big Monday.
Deafening noise. Huge heartbreak.
Kansas shocked Iowa State with a madcap late-in-regulation comeback for the second time this season, overcoming a five-point deficit with 47 seconds left to eventually win, 108-96, in overtime before a stunned sellout crowd of 14,376 at Hilton Coliseum.
The culprit this time?
Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson, who scored an astonishing 23 points from the 2:59 mark in regulation to the midway point of overtime.
He finished with a career high-shattering 39 points and kept the Cyclones from establishing their first two-game home win streak against Kansas since 2000 and 2001.
ISU (19-9, 9-6) — which made 17 3-pointers against the nation’s top field goal percentage defense — led 87-82 after Georges Niang sank one form beyond-the-arc with two seconds left on the shot clock.
Johnson answered with a long-range basket of his own with 32 seconds left.
Then, after two Korie Lucious free throws, he dropped in a another, making the score 89-88 with 15 seconds left.
Lucious made one of two free throws after that — and Johnson hit a pair from the stripe after a controversial call on a loose ball gave him the chance.
Johnson added 12 more points in overtime as Kansas (24-4, 12-3) pulled away.
Lucious led the Cyclones with a career-high 23 points, including an alley-oop pass that instead turned into a 3-pointer early in the second half.
It seemed ISU had finally reversed its luck against the first-place Jayhawks, but Johnson — like Ben McLemore in the first meeting — proved otherwise.
McLemore hit a desperation bank three to force the extra session in Lawrence.
Kansas went on to win that game 97-89.
Same story, different script Monday.
And it followed a dramatic arc from the opening tip to the final horn.
The first three minutes or so included a technical foul on Kansas coach Bill Self, a putback dunk by ISU forward Melvin Ejim and one fan being escorted from the arena by security.
Just another Big Monday?
But quite the tone-setter.
Both teams conjured significant runs in the first 20 minutes, but neither could create separation as the Jayhawks led 41-40 at the break.
Kansas’ big first-half run — a 14-3 spurt — turned a 14-7 deficit into a 21-17 lead that briefly quelled the energy from the stands.
The Cyclones answered with a 7-0 surge keyed by an Anthony Booker 3-pointer, of all things, that re-amped up the gold-clad crowd.
Booker provided a necessary boost in the paint, too — grabbing a team-best four rebounds before the break as Melvin Ejim and Niang again battled foul trouble.
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