ISU Downs No. 23 OU Behind Niang's Career-High 27 Points
AMES, Iowa – Georges Niang posted a career-high 27 points and Melvin Ejim posted another double-double (22 points, 16 rebounds) to pace No. 16 Iowa State (16-4, 4-4 Big 12) to a 81-75 win over No. 23 Oklahoma (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum.
Niang bailed out the Cyclones numerous times to help stave off potential OU comebacks. Ejim, meanwhile, tied his career-high in rebounds with 16 en route to his 28th career double-double.
The win was ISU’s fifth over a ranked opponent this season (Michigan, Iowa, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma), tying for second on ISU’s single-season record book.
After falling behind 10-4, the Cyclones went on a 16-2 run to go up 20-12 midway through the first half. Niang had seven points and Matt Thomas buried a pair of treys to help the Cyclones take control.
Buddy Hield had the hot hand for the Sooners, cutting the Cyclone lead to 29-28 on his third 3-pointer in the first period. Hield ended the first half with 18 points, as the game was tied 37-37 at the break.
The Cyclones mounted a 10-point lead (62-52) with 8:39 left in the game behind an 8-2 run. Niang and Thomas both hit treys in the flurry to give ISU its largest lead.
OU then hit back-to-back treys to make it 62-58 ISU with 5:51 left in the contest. On cue, however, Niang answered with a conventional 3-point play followed by a fast-break layup from Monte Morris to push the Cyclone lead back up to nine points (67-58).
OU soon went on a 10-2 run to cut the Cyclone lead to 69-68 with under three minutes left.
Niang then came up big again. First he hit a cutting Ejim for a wide open layup then he buried a long trey on ISU’s next possession to give ISU a 76-70 lead with 0:50 seconds left.
Keys to the Game
Niang and Ejim. Without the play of these two, the Cyclones would have been in trouble. However, the duo came to play, registering 49 of ISU’s 81 points.
Ejim was a monster on the boards, almost grabbing almost half of the team’s rebounds with 16 to go along with his 22 points.
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Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
Georges Niang. The Cyclone sophomore led the Cyclones in scoring for the seventh time this season with a career-high 27 points. Niang went 10-of-16 from the field and was 3-of-7 from 3-point range en route to his 40th career double-digit game.
Niang’s 3-pointer with :50 seconds left gave ISU a six-point lead and the adequate cushion to keep the Cyclones out in front.
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.
*Georges Niang scored in double figures for the 40th time in his career with a career-high 27 points.
*DeAndre Kane had nine assists and just one turnover, recording his 14th game with five or more dimes on the season.
*Melvin Ejim started his 110th game of his career, ranking seventh all-time in school history.
*Monte Morris received his first career start scoring 12 points.
*Ejim posted his sixth double-double of the season and the 28th of his career with 22 points and tying his career high with 16 rebounds.
*Ejim became just the fourth player in Iowa State history to record 900 rebounds in a career. He now has 906 career boards to rank fifth all-time in school history.
*Matt Thomas was 3-of-5 from 3-point range. He is now 9-of-17 from downtown in his last three games.
*Thomas now has 32 3-pointers in his career, tying for fourth with Wesley Johnson on ISU’s freshman chart.
*ISU was 10-of-26 from 3-point range, the ninth time this season and the 56th time in the Hoiberg era where the Cyclones made 10 or more treys in a game.
Tweet of the Game
I’m so proud to be a cyclone especially today with #AutismHoopshttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23AutismHoops&src=hash">#AutismHoops> https://twitter.com/CycloneMBB">@CycloneMBB> https://twitter.com/autismspeaks">@autismspeaks— Sean Jankowski (@sean_janko) https://twitter.com/sean_janko/statuses/429728253872324608">February 1, 2014
Iowa State travels to nationally ranked Oklahoma State for Big Monday on ESPN (Feb. 3). Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.