No. 24 Cyclones clip visiting Cowboys 86-83
(Reuters) Iowa State senior guard Matt Thomas, fresh off tying his career high with seven 3-pointers in a win over Oklahoma State, joked with the crowd at Hilton Coliseum that had hung around to celebrate Senior Night and the Cyclones’ sixth win in a row.
“We don’t make it easy on you,” Thomas said.
Thomas scored 25 points and No. 24 Iowa State held off the visiting Cowboys for an 86-83 win Tuesday in a battle of two streaking Big 12 teams in Ames, Iowa.
The Cyclones hit 15 3-pointers as a team, helping them survive a 29-point performance by Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans, who caught fire late and put a scare into the Iowa State faithful.
“I was just praying that we’d win for these guys,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm told reporters after the win.
Evans scored 12 points in the final two minutes, including three consecutive free throws that cut Iowa State’s lead to 81-80 with 14 seconds to play.
Cyclones senior guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long made two free throws, and Oklahoma State turned it over on its ensuing possession trying to inbound the basketball, sealing the Cowboys’ fate.
“That play at the end is on me,” Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood said after the game. “That’s not practicing enough. Sometimes it very simple passing and catching the ball, and sometimes it’s very difficult.”
Iowa State senior forward Deonte Burton finished with 20 points, and senior point guard Monte Morris had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Mitrou-Long added 17 points for the Cyclones (20-9, 12-5 Big 12), who have won six in a row.
Burton combined with Morris, Thomas and Mitrou-Long to score all but 10 of Iowa State’s points in an impressive performance for the peaking Cyclones.
“We haven’t had all four play great in one night,” Prohm told reporters. “Tonight we did and we needed it to beat a really good team.”
Underwood was whistled for a technical foul at the 13-minute mark of the second half with the Cowboys trailing 54-51. Iowa State grabbed the momentum and built its biggest lead of the night after a Donovan Jackson basket put the Cyclones up 66-55 with nine minutes to play.
Iowa State came out energized, jumping out to a 24-16 lead on a Thomas 3-pointer midway through first half. But Oklahoma State withstood the early push and used a 12-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer from senior forward Leyton Hammonds to take a 28-25 lead with five minutes left in the half. Hammonds finished with 19 points for the Cowboys.
Thomas hit four of Iowa State’s 10 3-pointers in the first half and led all scorers with 14 points at halftime. Hammonds connected on all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half to help Oklahoma State stay close.