Cyclones erase 21-point deficit, avoid three-game skid


Sophomore guard Monté Morris looks to pass the ball to junior forward Georges Niang during Iowa State’s matchup with Texas on Jan. 26. 

Max Dible

Hilton was never silent March 2, but the audio emanating from the crowd changed drastically from the first half to the second.

No. 17 Iowa State (21-8, 11-6 Big 12) defeated No. 15 Oklahoma (20-9, 11-6 Big 12) 77-70, claiming nationally televised vengeance and snapping a two-game ISU losing streak.

Iowa State gave the ISU faithful a night to remember through the warm summer months in the last regular season home game of the year. Yet, the ending of the story couldn’t have been so epic had its genesis not been so brutally disheartening.

The Cyclones began the game shooting 33 percent from the field, including 1-of-8 from deep. They turned the ball over 10 times and allowed six offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes, resulting in a 37-18 deficit heading into halftime.

The frustration built as the angry fans spewed their vitriol in the direction of the refs. The boos rained down from every corner of Hilton, as Iowa State dug itself a deeper and deeper hole.

The second half started much the same as the first. Oklahoma built its lead to 21 but then came the avalanches. The first was an avalanche of points, as Iowa State capitalized on a technical foul, talliyng eight points in two possessions to cut the lead from 20 to 12.

Following the avalanche of points came one of noise, as most of the ISU fans remained standing for the entire second half. Iowa State reeled off a 22-0 run to grab a lead at 50-48 with 9:36 to play. The venue might as well have changed its name to Mount Saint Hilton’s at that point, as the noise threatened to blow the roof off of the arena.

Junior Georges Niang led the way for Iowa State with 23 points and eight rebounds, 20 of which he dropped in the second period. Point guard Monté Morris was also crucial, adding 19 points and five assists of his own.