AMES, Iowa – Melvin Ejim had 25 points to lead No. 17 Iowa State (20-5, 8-5 Big 12) to an 85-76 win over No. 19 Texas (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) Tuesday night in Hilton Coliseum.
Ejim was one of three Cyclones with 20 points, as DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang chipped in with 22 and 20 points, respectively.
The win was ISU’s seventh this season vs. a ranked opponent (Michigan, Iowa, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas), equaling the school record with the 1999-2000 team for most wins over rated foes in a season.
ISU held a slim 9-8 lead with 11:34 left in the first half, as both teams started slow out of the gate at 4-of-15 percentages from the field.
The Cyclones were able to separate with a 5-0 run to make it 21-15 with 8:37 left in the first period.
ISU ended the half with three-straight hoops from Dustin Hogue, Ejim and Kane to go into the break with a 36-27 advantage.
Ejim had 14 points and six boards in the opening period.
It didn’t take long for UT to knot the score. An Isaiah Taylor basket tied the game at 48-48 with under 14 minutes left to play, capping off a 7-0 run.
The Longhorns got back into the game by making their first 14 free-throws.
The game see-sawed back and forth until ISU went on a decisive 12-4 run which provided the needed cushion for the win.
Keys to the Game
A key two and a half-minute stretch late in the second half was the difference in the contest. Clinging to a four-point lead (67-63) with 7:08 left in the game, the Cyclones scored on five-straight possessions in a decisive 12-4 run.
Kane had five points in the run, including a 3-pointer to get it started. A Niang tip-in off a missed Hogue free-throw was also huge. A pair of free-throws by Ejim with 4:51 left capped off the run, as the Cyclone lead ballooned to 79-67 and all but put the game out of reach.
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Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
Melvin Ejim. The Big 12’s leading scorer kept up his torrid pace by pouring in 25 points, his11th 20-point game of the season. Ejim also grabbed eight boards critical game.
Ejim was 9-of-14 from the field and 2-of-5 from the charity stripe.
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 Wednesday morning.
*Melvin Ejim started his 115th career game, tying for third all-time on ISU’s career record chart with Jake Sullivan.
*Ejim moved past Bill Cain to No. 3 on ISU’s career rebound list with eight boards tonight. He has 963 in his career.
*Ejim has scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games this season.
*Ejim has scored 20 or more points in 11 games this season.
*Monte Morris had six assists and zero turnovers. The nation’s leader in assist/turnover ratio has 29 assists and just two turnovers in his last five games.
*ISU had three players with 20 points (Ejim- 25, Kane- 22, Niang- 20) for the first time since last season at Texas.
*ISU is the only team in the nation to score 70 or more points in every game this season.
*It marks the third-fastest time ISU has reached 20 points in a season.
*ISU had 21 assists to 30 field goals.
Tweet of the Game
Iowa State travels to TCU on Saturday. Tipoff is at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2.