Big 12 Conference - One True Champion
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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Big 12 Champions!

Courtesy: cyclones.com
Release: 03/15/2014
         
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – No. 16 Iowa State (26-7, 11-7 Big 12) outscored Baylor (24-11, 9-9 Big 12) 18-7 in the final four minutes Saturday night to claim the 2014 Big 12 Conference Championship Tournament, 74-65.

Iowa State struggled in Baylor’s zone for much of the night, but once they figured it out, the Cyclones made the Bears pay by finishing the game with points on 10 of their last 11 possessions.

Down 58-56 with 3:56 remaining, Naz Long and Melvin Ejim hit back-to-back treys to give ISU a 64-60 lead, an advantage they never relinquished.

DeAndre Kane led a group of five Cyclones in double figures with 17 points. Kane, who was named the MVP of the tournament, was joined by Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim on the all-tournament team.

The victory was Iowa State’s second Big 12 Postseason Championship (2000).

Iowa State couldn’t have started the game any worse, as the Baylor zone gave the Cyclones fits. ISU missed its first 13 shots, as the Bears raced out to an 11-1 lead. Long finally dented the field goal column with a 3-pointer to end the drought.

BU led 21-11 with the Cyclones still mired in a shooting slump at 2-of-18. Long again took the lid off with a trey and Kane soon capped off an 8-3 Cyclone run with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 24-19 with 3:18 left in the first half.

Niang scored a pair of buckets to cut the led to 29-27 with under a minute remaining, but Kenny Cherry was fouled on a 3-pointer in the closing seconds, making all three charity shots to put BU up 32-27 at the break.

Both teams settled down offensively in the second half. BU got the lead up to eight points, but back-to-back hoops by Kane made it 41-37 Bears with 13:46 left in the game.

BU jumped back out in front 49-41, but the Cyclones went on a 12-1 run to go up 53-50 with 5:42 left. Long and Melvin Ejim hit back-to-back treys in the flurry.

It went back and forth for the next two minutes. Brady Heslip gave BU a 58-56 lead with a trey, but Long answered with a 3-pointer to push ISU back out in front, 59-58 with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Keys to the Game
Closing The Game. On its 18-7 run to close the game, the Cyclones scored on 10 of their final 11 possessions. That was the key in the victory.

The Cyclones have thrived in finishing games and today was no different. It marked the second game in a row where the Cyclones won after trailing by 10 points in the game. ISU shot 69.6 percent in the second half, making 16-of-23 shots from the field.

Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
DeAndre Kane. Kane was ISU’s go-to player yet again, recording 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Kane was 4-of-8 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.

His seven assists gives him 192 on the season, the fifth-best season total in school history. 

Cyclone Notes
*Melvin Ejim had nine rebounds, passing Zaid Abdul-Aziz for the second most career boards in school history at 1,031
*Ejim started his 123rd career game, tying him with Coach Hoiberg for the second-most starts in school history.
*DeAndre Kane handed out seven assists to give him 192 this season, ranking fifth on ISU’s single-season chart.
*Naz Long made 4-of-6 shots from downtown. He is now 13-of-21 in his last five games from 3-point range.
*Fred Hoiberg now has 88 wins in his first four years, the best four-year win total in school history.
*Hoiberg is 6-2 all-time vs. Baylor.
*ISU’s 26 victories ranks second all-time in school history in season wins behind the 1999-200 team (32).
*This is ISU’s second Big 12 Championship title (2000, 2014) and the fifth tournament title in school history (1955 Big Seven Holiday, 1959 Big Eight Holiday, 1996 Big Eight, 2000 Big 12, 2014 Big 12).
*ISU is 7-0 in neutral site games.
*Hogue was 15-of-24 from the field in the Big 12 Championship.
*ISU shot 27-of-52 (51.9 pct.) from 3-point range in the Big 12 Championship.
*ISU was 47-of-76 (61.8 pct.) from the field in the second half of the three Big 12 Championship games.

Tweet of the Game

— Julia (@fuzzybunnyfeet7) https://twitter.com/fuzzybunnyfeet7/statuses/445023768264863744">March 16, 2014

On Deck
Iowa State prepares for the NCAA Tournament next weekend. The Cyclones will find out who their opponent is on Sunday afternoon.

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