By Andrew Logue/Associated Press
AMES, Iowa — Jaren Holmes matched his season high with 23 points as No. 12 Iowa State held on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76 on Tuesday night.
The Cyclones (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) moved into a three-way tie atop the conference standings with the Wildcats and Texas.
Iowa State shot 57.1% — including 62.5% in the second half — and scored 25 points off turnovers.
“It felt like as much as any game this year … it was our guys being so connected,” Cyclones coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “And just making plays for one another.”
Gabe Kalscheur added 19 points for Iowa State. Osun Osunniyi finished with 16.
Markquis Nowell led Kansas State (17-3, 6-2) with 23 points.
“I thought this was just an unbelievable Big 12 game,” Kanas State coach Jerome Tang said. “The environment was incredible.”
A 3-pointer from Holmes gave Iowa State a 59-49 advantage with 8:12 remaining. Kansas State responded with a 10-1 run to trim the margin to 60-59.
Caleb Grill’s 3-pointer steadied the Cyclones and pushed the lead back to 63-59 with five minutes left.
Holmes finished 8-of-11 shooting.
“Jaren was dynamite on both ends,” Otzelberger said. “I thought defensively he had a really good game.”
Free throws by Osunniyi, Grill and Holmes sealed the victory in the final 24 seconds.
“It’s truly a blessing,” Holmes said after jogging off the Hilton Coliseum floor. “I treasure every moment that I have in this great arena, and every opportunity I have to witness Hilton magic.”
The first half featured eight lead changes and ended with Kansas State up 33-31.
A 3-pointer by Kalscheur ignited an early 9-0 run for the Cyclones and helped them build a 19-14 lead. Iowa State made just one of nine 3-point tries in the first 20 minutes.
Kansas State was trying to extend its best start to a season since 1961-62.
Iowa State improved to 11-0 at home. The Cyclones have not lost back-to-back games this season.
Kansas State hosts Florida on Saturday as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Iowa State travels to Missouri on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.