AMES, Iowa – Senior Will Clyburn collected a double-double, including a game-high 24 points, as Iowa State extended its homecourt winning streak to 18 games with a 73-67 win over No. 11/13 Kansas State before 14,376 fans at Hilton Coliseum.
The win not only pulled Iowa State (14-5, 4-2 Big 12) into a third-place tie with Kansas State (15-4, 4-2 Big 12) and Oklahoma in the conference standings, it also ended the Wildcats’ six-game road winning streak and gave the squad back-to-back losses for the first time this season. The six-game winning streak in road games dated back to last season and was the longest such streak since February 2010.
Iowa State scored an opponent-high 73 points and knocked down 11-of-22 from 3-point range in the game, while Kansas State connected on 50.9 percent of its field goals (28-of-55), including 64 percent (16-of-25) in the second half. However, the Cyclones controlled the glass, out-rebounding the Wildcats, 35-28, and posting an 18-2 advantage in second-chance points. The squad is now 1-4 on the season when being out-rebounded, while they are 14-0 when posting a rebounding edge.
In a game that saw nine lead changes and four ties, the Wildcats had numerous chances at end the homecourt streak, taking a 53-51 advantage with 9:08 to play on a lay-up by senior Martavious Irving and holding a 56-55 edge with 7:31 to go on 3-pointer by junior Shane Southwell.
However, the Cyclones always seem to have the right answer, as junior Chris Babb gave the squad the lead for good at 57-56 on a lay-up with 7:13 remaining. The Babb shot ignited an 8-0 run by Iowa State, which pushed the lead to 63-56 with just 5:28 to go.
Junior Will Spradling gave the Wildcats’ one-last push with his fourth 3-pointer to close the gap to 68-65 with just over two minutes play. But the team could get no closer, as the Cyclones knocked down 3-of-4 free throws, including a pair by Clyburn, and Korie Lucious made a lay-up down the stretch.
Spradling rebounded from his scoreless effort against Kansas on Tuesday to post a team-high 15 points on 5-of-8 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Senior Rodney McGruder tallied double-digit points for the 10th straight game with 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 40 minutes of action, while Southwell added 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting. He has double-figure points in four of the last five games. Sophomore Angel Rodriguez registered nine points and a team-best eight assists with zero turnovers. He now has 25 assists to just three turnovers in his last three games.
Clyburn paced four Cyclones in double figures, including two with double-digit rebounds, with his 24 points on 8-of-16 field goals and 10 rebounds. Freshman Georges Niang scored 15 points on 6-of-11 field goals, while Tyrus McGee and Lucious added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Lucious, the transfer from Michigan State, also dished out a game-high eight assists in the win.
K-State closed the first half on a 12-2 run to take a 27-26 lead at halftime. The Wildcats were down as many as nine in the opening half before the run, which included five points from McGruder and four from Southwell. Despite shooting just 40 percent in the first half, the squad was able to take advantage of seven missed free throws by the Cyclones to get back in the game.
Kansas State returns home on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats play host to Texas (8-10, 0-5 Big 12) before a national television audience on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. CT.
A limited number of single-game tickets are still available for $50 for general admission seating and can be purchased online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by phone at (800) 221-CATS.