The Iowa State men’s basketball team needed a huge victory to make their case for the NCAA Tournament. Finishing off another dramatic season at Hilton Coliseum, the seniors went out with a bang defeating 13th-ranked Oklahoma State.
Will Clyburn had a huge second half, finishing with a team-high 20 points for the Cyclones (20-10, 10-7) and adding five rebounds and five assists. He committed no fouls in the game, astonishing for playing 34 minutes. The only negative was going 4-8 from the free throw line, quite a bit lower than his average of 74 percent.
The other seniors all played very well. Korie Lucious had 11 points, six assists, and two turnovers. Chris Babb had nine points, five assists, and four rebounds, but his highlight was a tomahawk dunk in the second half the jolted the Cyclones when Oklahoma State was fighting their way back. Tyrus McGee led again off the bench with 14 points, half of those coming from the free-throw line.
Georges Niang led the team with 12 points after the first half, dropping a couple of huge 3-point shots early. He finished with 18 points but also had a team-high three turnovers.
Iowa State had 10 more assists than Oklahoma State and won the rebounding battle 35-28. Despite 18-20 from the free throw line for OSU, Iowa State went to the charity stripe 15 more times and nailed eight more. They hit 7-22 from 3-point range but were pretty efficient overall with 51.9 percent from the field.
Marcus Smart went 8-22 and just 1-7 from 3-point range, finishing with a team-high 24 points for the Cowboys (22-7, 12-5). He also led the team with eight rebounds and five steals for a great overall game, but the team just didn’t have enough production defensively as Iowa State pulled away at the end. Le’Bryan Nash had 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Phil Forte struggled shooting on the road again going just 2-8 and also shooting just 1-7 from 3-point range.
What ultimately did Oklahoma State in was turnovers early to get into a big deficit and poor 3-point shooting, hitting just 4-23 as a team. This loss puts them out of contention to win the Big 12 regular season title.
Iowa State will finish the regular season at West Virginia this Saturday afternoon, tipoff is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. CT.