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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

No. 14 Iowa State 10-0, Advances to Title Game

Release: 12/23/2013
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HONOLULU, Hawaii – No. 14 Iowa State tied its best start in school history as the Cyclones improved to 10-0 with a 83-60 win over Akron Monday afternoon at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic inside the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Akron’s record falls to 6-3.

The Cyclones also started 10-0 in the 1996-97 season. Iowa State will play in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic Wednesday against the winner of the South Carolina-Boise State game that will take place later Monday evening. Game time will be 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night, and will be televised on ESPN2.

Keys to the Game
The Zips and the Cyclones continued its back-and-forth play in the early minutes of the second half. A Pat Forsythe lay-in reduced Iowa State’s lead to 42-41, but ISU put together a 13-2 run to build up its largest lead of the game, to that point, at 55-43. Georges Niang was the star of the run with five points while DeAndre Kane added four.

Akron was able to break open a tight game about halfway through the first half, breaking off a 13-2 run that was powered by three 3-pointers to give the Zips their largest lead of the half at 23-15. Akron started the game making five of its first 10 3-point attempts.

Iowa State was able to claw its way back into the contest with an 11-2 run in just over two minutes that was capped off by Melvin Ejim’s second 3-pointer of the game to restore ISU’s lead at 26-25. Akron tied it up with a free throw, but Iowa State then went on a 6-0 run give the Cyclones a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game. Akron looked like it would keep ISU to a one-possession margin headed into the locker room, but Georges Niang nailed a 3-pointer with three seconds left to give the Cyclones a 37-31 halftime lead.

Discuss it now. Visit our Facebook page to have your say on the turning point of today's game.

Cyclone Game Ball Goes To...
Georges Niang. In retrospect, it comes as a surprise to some that prior to ISU’s overtime victory over UNI in Des Moines on Dec. 7, Niang had never recorded 20 points in a game in his career. Since then, all Niang has been doing for the Cyclones is scoring 20 points a game.

Niang finished the game with 22 points, his fourth-straight game with at least 20 points, with 15 coming in the second half. He also chipped in four assists and two rebounds.

Cyclone Nation, who was your player of the game? Tweet the player along with the hashtag #CyclONEgameball to @CycloneMBB and we'll announce the fan's pick on Monday morning.

Cyclone Quick Hits
*Iowa State started a season 10-0 for the second time in school history, the other instance being the 1996-97 campaign.
*Melvin Ejim made his 100th career start as a Cyclone.
*Ejim finished with his 25th career double-double as he posted 21 points and 12 rebounds.
*Ejim's 21 points marked his fifth game this season, 11th of his career with at least 20 points.
*Ejim also recorded a season-high four assists.
*Dustin Hogue has converted at least four free throws in Iowa State’s last five games.
*Georges Niang finished with 22 points, his fourth-consecutive game with at least 20 points.
*DeAndre Kane posted his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Fan Tweet of the Game

On Deck
Iowa State will play in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic championship game Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Central Time against the winner of the South Carolina-Boise State game that will take place later Monday night. The championship game will be televised on ESPN2.
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