The Kansas Jayhawks traveled to Iowa State on Big Monday to play a tough road game at Hilton Coliseum. This was supposed to be the game the Jayhawks were supposed to lose, but Elijah Johnson had different plans. Going into this game, the Cyclones have won 22 consecutive games in the Hilton, and many had them winning tonight.
The Cyclones played great on offense, shooting behind the arc with ease. They had a team-high 17 three pointers in this game and also made 29 free throws. Iowa State had a chance for this upset in regulation but they came up short.
In overtime, it was all about the Jayhawks.
Tonight’s real story was about the point guard who played the 2-spot tonight. a place where I believe he really shows his stuff. It was no the Hilton Magic, but it was “Magic” Elijah Johnson who played his heart out in the last few minutes of the game and all of overtime on both sides of the ball.
Johnson totally look different than he has all season. He had great stats tonight, but more importantly, Kansas fans are seeing the real Johnson. He played with a passion, a willingness to shoot, and a determination not to let his team lose.
He was focused in overtime and put the Jayhawks on his back.
This was the best he has played this season, and maybe even in a Kansas uniform. He was lights-out in the second half, and in overtime. He ended up scoring 39 points with six 3-pointers and, was perfect from the line. He became the leader and scorer when Jeff Withey, and Kevin Young got into foul trouble. The greatest play for him is when he rebounded a miss, and had it pass out to him for a three (which he made) with only tenths of a second remaining on the shot clock. What an impressive play and leadership he put on display.
Johnson even put an exclamation sign on this game by throwing down a dunk in the last few seconds of overtime, which Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg wasn’t very happy about. Johnson did apologize to Hoiberg about letting his emotions take control at the end of the game.
The Hilton magic disappeared, and the magic of the Jayhawks closed the game with a victory. This victory also gave the Jayhawks coach Bill Self his 500th career victory.