ISU runs past OU into KU rematch


Redshirt senior Will Clyburn goes up for the dunk against Oklahoma in the second round of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship on March 14, 2013, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Clyburn finished the game with 17 points, 10 of which came in the 25-6 run that gave the Cyclones the victory.

Dean Berhow-Goll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They had seen this side of Will Clyburn before. On the biggest of stages, he had performed a disappearing act.

Against Iowa, he scored zero points. On the road against Kansas State, he scored six. On the road March 2 against the Oklahoma team he dismantled in the second half Thursday, he scored six.

Nearly 28 minutes into the game Clyburn looked halfway through another routine with only two points on four shots, then something clicked.

Clyburn scored 15 points in the last 12 minutes of the game, including 10-straight points during Iowa State’s surge from down 60-53 to leading 63-62. After taking that lead with 3:19 left in the game, they never lost it.

“That’s the best I’ve seen Will,” Hoiberg said. “Just, again, made big‑time plays, not only scoring the basketball, but also making plays for his teammates.”

Running away with it

The team as a whole did something it hadn’t done successfully the entire season when it not only won, but ran away with the game in a late-game situation.

The Cyclones finished the final 7:42 minutes of the game on a 25-6 tear, going 7-of-10 from the field, 4-of-6 from behind the arc and making all seven free throws.

Negate that shooting performance in the last quarter of the game and Iowa State shot a miserable 3-of-20 from downtown and 37 percent from the field.

Along with the offensive surge, Iowa State didn’t allow an OU bucket in the final 8:10 of the game, where the Sooners only scored six points from the free-throw line.

In the first half, Iowa State allowed Romero Osby (6-of-10 on field goals in the first half) and Oklahoma to shoot on a 45-percent clip, reminding Iowa State fans of the lopsided loss in Norman on March 2, 2013.

Iowa State only allowed Oklahoma to shoot 28.6 percent in the second half, making 1-of-10 3-pointers and missing its last eight shots while Iowa State finished on its 25-6 run.


Now Iowa State faces Kansas in the third meeting of the year. ISU players have had this in the back of their minds ever since Kansas’ 108-96 overtime win against Iowa State back on Feb. 25.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity,” Clyburn said. “If they win today, I want some payback. They beat us twice during the year. Probably games we shouldn’t have lost, but, hey, I’m ready for payback.”

Before Kansas even had tipped off its second round game against Texas Tech, the ISU players were echoing each other’s statements in the locker room, saying they’ve marked this on the calendar since the last game.

ISU fans have paid close attention to the brackets, seeing where the Cyclones sit on the bubble.

When KU coach Bill Self was asked about the game against Iowa State following his team’s win against Texas Tech on March 14, he quickly silenced any doubts of the Cyclones’ NCAA resume.

“They’re not a bubble team,” Self said. “I don’t think Fred could sell to his team that they’re a bubble team for motivation. They’re in the tournament. So it will be two NCAA tournament teams hooking up and playing tomorrow.”