No. 9 Kansas looks for payback in rematch with No. 24 Iowa State

A matchup against the team that handed Kansas a lopsided defeat could help the No. 9 Jayhawks quickly refocus.

Assuming, of course, they still aren't too dazed by the late rally they surrendered on Saturday.

Kansas (15-3, 4-2 Big 12) plays host to No. 24 Iowa State (14-4, 4-2) on Monday in a clash between two of the four co-leaders atop the conference. The other two teams with 4-2 league marks -- Kansas State and Texas Tech -- meet on Tuesday.

The Jayhawks fell into that logjam on Saturday. They led last-place West Virginia by six points before failing to score over the final 2-plus minutes and losing 65-64 in Morgantown. A quick turnaround finds Kansas returning home to face Iowa State, which prevailed 77-60 over the Jayhawks in a Jan. 5 romp.

"We'll be OK," Kansas coach Bill Self said.

"You know, you can't get this one (at West Virginia) back, so you've got to put it in your rearview mirror, so to speak. Yeah, we'll be OK. We'll be excited to play Iowa State."

But the Jayhawks will have to play better in the clutch. Granted, they have won more close games than they have lost, claiming eight wins by seven points or less, although some of those outcomes didn't have to come down to the wire.

When asked about late-game gaffes, junior forward Dedric Lawson told the Lawrence Journal-World: "We do it at practice, too. We take it for granted in practice when we scrimmage against the (scout) team and they score at the end and we don't get stops. ... Guys have got to take that stuff seriously moving forward."

Big 12 rivals are certainly taking Lawson seriously.

Since the Jayhawks lost 7-foot center Udoka Azubuike (fractured wrist) and have continued to play without 6-9 Silvio De Sousa (eligibility inquiry), Lawson must battle underneath. Opponents have collapsed defenses realizing the Jayhawks struggle to shoot behind the arc.

Lawson continues to average a double-double (18.9 points, 10.7 rebounds), but the Memphis transfer has failed to reach his scoring average in six of the past seven games. Kansas is getting an unexpected offensive boost from sophomore guard Marcus Garrett, who has scored 35 points in the last two games to boost his season average to 7.2.

"And, he can guard anybody," Self said.

Iowa State presents a difficult challenge for defenders because several contributors are interchangeable.

The Cyclones are coming off a 72-59 win over Oklahoma State. They were led by the Big 12's leading scorer, Virginia transfer guard Marial Shayock, with 20 points. He is averaging 19.4 points for the season.

Not long after the final buzzer, coach Steve Prohm wasted no time issuing an advisory about Kansas.

"Them coming off a loss, I told our guys in the locker room that they're going to be as dialed up as ever," Prohm said. "They're going to be laser-focused and laser-sharp."

Iowa State's Cam Lard returned against Oklahoma State after missing two games with a sprained ankle, providing a strong inside presence. The sophomore forward contributed 12 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in just 14 minutes.

--Field Level Media

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