ISU Survives in Fast-Paced Win Over K-State, 91-85
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Naz Long scored the final four points in the last 0:16 seconds to give No. 16 Iowa State (24-7 overall, 11-7 Big 12) a 91-85 victory over Kansas State (20-12 overall, 10-8) Thursday at the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
The game had everything. A total of 11 ties and eight lead changes occurred and the pace at the end was frenetic. Long made a pair of free-throws with 0:16 seconds left and then capped the game with a lay-in in the final seconds to seal the victory. The win was ISU's 24th this season, tying for the third-best season victory total in school history.
Long scored nine points in the final 2:47 in the game, including a huge trey which gave the Cyclones the lead for good at the 2:47 mark.
Melvin Ejim led the way with 24 points and 10 boards en route to his 32nd career double-double. He had help, however, as four other Cyclones scored in double figures, including an outstanding game from Dustin Hogue, who had 19 points and 10 boards.
Kansas State got off to a hot start, making 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-3 from downtown while forging an early 17-11 lead.
A 6-0 run by ISU tied the score at 19-19 and the Cyclones took a 33-28 lead with 4:51 left in the first half after Melvin Ejim buried a triple.
Iowa State added to its lead when Monte Morris converted two steals into a pair of easy fast-break buckets to help the Cyclones go ahead 44-36 with under two minutes left in the half. However, KSU scored the last five points of the first period, capped off by a Marcus Foster trey in the closing seconds.
Foster had 16 first-half points for the Wildcats.
KSU shot 55.2 percent from the field in the first half, but ISU neutralized the Wildcats hot shooting by forcing nine turnovers and scoring 11 points off of them.
The Wildcats kept their hot shooting going in the second half, moving ahead 64-61 with 9:43 left in the game. ISU then scored five-straight points behind an Ejim trey to retake the lead at 66-64.
Moments later Georges Niang joined DeAndre Kane on the bench with four fouls at the 9:00 mark of the second period.
The game went through four ties and four lead changes in the next six minutes. ISU went ahead 76-72 on an Ejim drive to the hoop with 5:02 left in the game. However, KSU tied the score at 76-76 moments later after Kane fouled out with 3:55 left in the game.
Keys to the Game
Points in the Paint. Iowa State has been an aggressive team all season with its ability to drive the ball into the lane. The Cyclones did it again today, registering 46 points in the paint. The Cyclones have outscored 12 of their last 13 opponents in the paint.
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Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
Melvin Ejim. The senior posted his 13th 20-point game of the season with 24 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds in the game. It was Ejim’s 32nd career double-double. Ejim was handed the Big 12 Player of the Year trophy prior to tip.
Ejim started slow, but picked up his play late in the first half. Ejim ended the game 8-of-19 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
The win was Ejim's 84th he's played in during his ISU career, breaking the record for winningest player in school history.
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.
*Melvin Ejim played in his 130th career game, the most in school history.
*Ejim had 24 points, his 13th 20-point game of the season.
*Ejim also had 10 rebounds en route to his 32nd career double-double.
*Georges Niang had 18 points, his 26th double-digit scoring game of the season.
*Monte Morris had 10 assists and just one turnover. Morris has 86 assists and 12 turnovers vs. Big 12 teams this season.
*Morris recorded his second double-digit 10+ assist game.
*Dustin Hogue grabbed 10 boards, his 12th double-digit rebounding of the season and his third in the last four games.
*Hogue tallied his seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
*ISU had 46 points in the paint, outscoring its 12th opponent in the last 13 games in the paint.
*ISU is 18-0 when leading at the half this season.
*ISU has scored 70 points or more in 30 of 31 games this season.
*ISU is 9-16 all-time in Big 12 Championship history.
*ISU is 10-9 vs. Kansas State in conference tournament action.
*Ejim has been a part of 84 wins in his career, moving past Jacy Holloway (83- 1994-97) for the most wins for an ISU player in school history.
*Fred Hoiberg now has 86 wins in his first four years, the best four-year win total in school history.
*ISU’s 24 victories ties for third all-time in school history: 32- 1999-2000; 25- 2000-01; 24- 1995-96
Tweet of the Game
ISU's https://twitter.com/M3llyM3I">@M3llyM3I> accepts the Big 12 Player of the Year trophy from Commissioner Bowlsby. #Cycloneshttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23Cyclones&src=hash">#Cyclones> http://t.co/ghIH9U5LTl">pic.twitter.com/ghIH9U5LTl— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) https://twitter.com/CycloneMBB/statuses/444146717819035648">March 13, 2014
Iowa State will face the winner of the Kansas-Oklahoma State game tomorrow night at 6 p.m.