Ejim, Niang Powers ISU Over No. 22 Kansas State
AMES, Iowa – No. 16 Iowa State (15-3, 3-3 Big 12) held on to defeat No. 22 Kansas State (14-6, 4-3 Big 12), 81-75 Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum.
Melvin Ejim had 20 points and Georges Niang chipped in with 18 points to propel the Cyclones to their fourth win over a ranked opponent this season. Ejim had nine boards and Dustin Hogue grabbed 12 boards in the win.
Both teams had the touch from long range in the early moments of the game. ISU led 23-18 with 11:08 left in the first half, as both squads combined for 9-of-11 shooting from downtown.
ISU made a 3-pointer on four-straight possessions midway through the opening period, including a pair from Matt Thomas to help the Cyclones take the early lead.
The Cyclones ended the half on a 12-2 run to take a 46-34 lead at the break. ISU went 8-of-11 from 3-point range behind a 4-of-4 effort from Thomas in the first stanza.
A sluggish start in the second half by the Cyclones quickly got the Wildcats right back in it. KSU opened the second period on a 16-4 run to knot the game at 50-50 with 12:47 left in the contest.
But the Cyclones bounced back with a 14-3 run to re-take a 64-53 lead with under seven minutes remaining. However, just a few minutes later, Will Spradling hit three 3-pointers in a matter of moments to tie the score at 66-66 with 4:41 left in the game.
Keys to the Game
Weathering The Storm. Twice during the game Iowa State held a double-digit lead only to have the Wildcats come back and tie the game. Both times, the Cyclones answered the bell.
When KSU tied the game at 66-66 with 4:41 left in the contest, Georges Niang hit a huge 3-pointer followed by a DeAndre Kane conventional 3-point play to put ISU back up by six points (72-66).
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Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
Melvin Ejim The Cyclone senior posted another outstanding game with 20 points and nine boards. It was his 13th 20-point game of his career.
Ejim was his usual active self, but possibly the biggest play of the game was his block of Shane Southwell’s 3-pointer with 0:31.2 seconds left with ISU clinging to a 76-73 lead.
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.
*Iowa State shot 48.1 percent from the field after failing to make 40 percent of its shots in its last two games.
*Georges Niang was 4-of-6 from the 3-point range this afternoon. Niang is now 8-of-13 from downtown in his last two games.
*Melvin Ejim started his 108th career game, tying for eighth with Rahshon Clark on ISU’s career start list.
*Ejim’s 20 points gives him 1,324 in his career, moving him past Jeff Hornacek to No. 17 on ISU’s career scoring list.
*ISU now has four wins vs. ranked opponents on the year, the most since the Cyclones won five vs. rated foes in 2004-05.
*Matt Thomas was 4-of-6 from 3-point range en route to 14 points. Thomas was just 1-of-11 from 3-point range in his three games prior.
Tweet of the Game
That's the Matt Thomas that Hoiberg recruited!!! https://twitter.com/CycloneMBB">@CycloneMBB— Jason Kohorst (@jazzerCYZ) https://twitter.com/jazzerCYZ/statuses/427158043374002178">January 25, 2014
Iowa State travels to nationally ranked Kansas on Wednesday (Jan. 29). Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.