AMES, Iowa — Two of the Big 12’s best teams squared off at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday, as the Iowa State Cyclones dismantled the 11th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats 73-67.
Kansas State (15-4, 4-2 Big 12) jumped out to an 8-4 lead on a layup by Thomas Gipson, but trailed for most of the first half. Iowa State took its largest lead of the game on a layup by Georges Niang to make it 24-15 at the 6:21 mark. The Wildcats closed the half on a 12-2 run, and led 27-26 at halftime.
Iowa State (14-5, 4-2 Big 12) hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half, and jumped back out in front 32-27. The Cyclones maintained the lead until a brief Wildcats push with 9:18 to play. A Shane Southwell 3-pointer put the Cats up 56-55 with 7:33 remaining.
The Cyclones answered K-State’s mini-rally with an 8-0 run, and took a 63-56 lead on a dunk by Melvin Ejim with 5:27 left. Will Clyburn’s dunk with 3:48 to play made it 65-58.
K-State had one last window of opportunity when a late turnover by Iowa State led to a dunk by Rodney McGruder. The lead was cut to 70-67 with :48 seconds left, but the Cats never broke the seal down the stretch.
Clyburn led the Cyclones with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Will Spradling led the Cats with 15 points and four assists. McGruder finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and four turnovers.
The Cats shot 51% from the field, and 37% from three-point range. The Cyclones shot 48% from the field, and 50% from beyond the arc. Iowa State crushed K-State on the boards 34-26. The Cyclones won in spite of a pathetic day at the free throw line, where they went 10-22.
K-State hosts the Texas Longhorns Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.