Cyclones Close 2011 With Win Over MVSU
AMES, Iowa - Melvin Ejim recorded 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help Iowa State hold off Mississippi Valley State, 67-65 Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones shot a season-low 34.4 percent and had an 18-point lead trimmed down to three points late in the second half. However, the Cyclones got a strong effort from their bench, as Ejim spearheaded a 41-point outing from the reserves. Ejim, who also drilled a career-high three treys in three tries, posted his fifth career double-double in the victory.
Iowa State ends non-conference play at 10-3.
Iowa State opened the game by making just one of its first nine shots as the Delta Devils jumped out to an early 8-2 lead. The Cyclones then went on a 21-6 run to go up 28-14 with 5:56 left before intermission.
Ejim had eight points and seven rebounds in the opening period to help the Cyclones go into the break with a 36-23 lead, as ISU held MVSU to just 25.8 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. ISU led by as many as 18 points in the first half.
Iowa State struggled to shake off the Delta Devils in the second half. After the Cyclones scored the first five points of the second period, MVSU tallied eight-straight points to cut the lead to 41-31 behind a pair of 3-pointers from Terrence Joyner.
Another 8-0 run cut the Cyclone lead to just five points (47-42) with 9:27 remaining, as the Cyclones went over four minutes without a basket. A Kevin Burwell trey made it 51-47 at the 7:00 minute mark, but Scott Christopherson answered with a trey on the other end to put ISU back up 54-47.
MVSU was only down by four points with under 0:30 seconds left, but Paul Crosby misfired on a jumper and Ejim corralled the rebound. He then made a pair of free-throws to put ISU up 65-59. Burwell then made a trey to cut the lead to 65-62 with 0:02 seconds left. Chris Allen moments later sealed the win with two free-throws.
Anthony Booker came off the bench to record a season-high 10 points and Christopherson posted 11 points. The Cyclones outrebounded MVSU, 49-43, the 12th opponent the Cyclones have outboarded this season. Iowa State made just 15-of-26 from the free-throw line (57.7 percent).
Royce White played just three minutes in the game while battling flu-like symptoms.
Iowa State begins Big 12 play on Wednesday, playing host to Texas at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.