Cyclones top Okla. State in 3OT
By CLIFF BRUNT
STILLWATER, Okla. -- A pair of unlikely players helped Iowa State win one of the most thrilling games of the college basketball season.
Naz Long hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 1.4 seconds left in the second overtime and Monte Morris drained a three in the final minute of the third overtime to help the 16th-ranked Cyclones defeat No. 19 Oklahoma State 98-97 in triple overtime on Monday night.
Long, a sophomore, was averaging 6.9 points per game and Morris, a freshman, averaged 6.5. Neither hesitated under pressure.
"I think you guys have been seeing it all year -- those guys can play," said Iowa State's Melvin Ejim, the Big 12's leading scorer. "One through 12, we can play, and the confidence coach instills in us, in each player, to go out and knock down that shot with confidence -- it showed today. We had multiple guys step up and make big shots. That's what it's all about."
Iowa State's stars did their part. DeAndre Kane had 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while primarily being guarded by Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart. Ejim had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Georges Niang scored 17 points and Dustin Hogue added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (17-4, 5-4 Big 12). It was Iowa State's first victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena since March 2, 1988 -- back when both teams were still in the Big 8 Conference.
"To gut this win out was huge," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "It would have been a very difficult loss fighting three overtimes and walking out of here with a loss. I'm proud of our guys for finding a way to win it."
Le'Bryan Nash scored 26 points, Smart had 20 points and eight assists and Markel Brown added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma State (16-6, 4-5), which lost its third in a row. Oklahoma State was without guard Stevie Clark, who was kicked off the team Monday after his second arrest of the new year.
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, normally talkative, had little to say after the game.
"We had our chances," he said. "We didn't rebound the basketball at crucial times. Obviously, Iowa State made big shots and had big rebounds. We didn't rebound when it counted."
Kane and Morris each played 52 minutes for Iowa State. Brown played 54 minutes, Smart played 52 and Nash 50 for Oklahoma State.
"I could've kept going," Nash said. "I love basketball, but it was a tough game. We played as hard as we can."
Oklahoma State honored former coach Eddie Sutton at halftime, and Hoiberg knew that would add a little energy to the crowd.
"It's a hard place to play and they do a great job," he said. "Coming in on Eddie Sutton night, we knew there was going to be a little extra emotion in this building."
Time after time, Iowa State found ways to suck the energy out of it.
Morris hit his big 3-pointer from the corner with 43 seconds left in the third overtime to put Iowa State up 96-95.
Nash misconnected on a pass to Brian Williams, and Oklahoma State turned the ball over with 22 seconds left. Long made two free throws with 21.8 seconds to play, extending Iowa State's lead to three.
Brown dunked, then Williams stole the ball to give the Cowboys a shot at the win. Smart missed a fadeaway, and Oklahoma State retained possession on a tie-up on the rebound. Nash missed a baseline jumper as time expired, and the Cyclones celebrated.
Kane committed his fourth foul with 1:40 left in the second overtime and Oklahoma State leading 87-86. Nash scored in close to bump the Cowboys' lead to three.
Iowa State's Matt Thomas and Kane missed shots, and Smart pulled in the rebound. Oklahoma State had a chance to put the game away, but Brown missed a mid-range fadeaway, and Iowa State called a timeout, down 89-86 with 15.9 seconds remaining.
Thomas missed a three, but Kane rebounded, and Long's 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left tied the game.
Iowa State had a chance to win at the end of the first overtime with the scored tied at 83. Morris drove to the hoop, but Brown blocked his shot from behind to force the second extra period.
Niang fouled out with 1:05 left in regulation and Iowa State leading 74-73. Brown made the two free throws after the foul to give Oklahoma State a 75-74 lead.
Ejim missed the first and made the second of two free throws to tie the score at 75 with 44 seconds to play.
Nash's shot down low was blocked by Hogue, giving Iowa State another shot. Kane missed a 3-pointer, and a putback dunk by Ejim came after the buzzer.