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Iowa State Ekes Out Win Over Kansas State

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First half: AWESOME. Second half: NOT AWESOME. Final result: OKAY!

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State defeated Kansas State 70-65 in Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday night in a game that featured two completely different halves of basketball. The win improves ISU to 5-3 in conference play and drops the Wildcats to 4-4.

In the first half, about everything went right for the Cyclones. Matt Thomas canned six 3-pointers, the team made 9/15 from long range and also shot 57.1% from the field en route to a 43-26 halftime lead. K-State couldn’t hit anything and Iowa State was connecting on about anything they threw up — at least that’s how it seemed.

Then, the second half came around. Thomas added his seventh 3-pointer on ISU’s first possession after halftime, but things went south after that and Kansas State was able to completely erase the lead over the course of the next 14 minutes.

With just under five minutes remaining in the game, KSU’s Barry Brown made a layup to put the Wildcats in front, 58-57. Thomas answered with a jumper and then assisted on a layup to Monte Morris to get the Cyclones back in front by three.

Kansas State was able to cut the lead to two points a couple times thereafter, but ISU hit their free throws and held on to successfully fend off an improving Wildcat squad.

Thomas ended the night with a career-high 25 points on 9/12 shooting (7/10 from long range). The only two other players to score in double-figures on the night for the Cyclones were Naz Mitrou-Long and Morris, who added 13 and 12, respectively. Speaking of Morris, the senior sits just two assists away from tying, and three away from breaking, Jeff Hornacek’s record for career assists at Iowa State.

The Cyclones are next in action on Saturday against Vanderbilt in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The game will tip at 3 p.m. CST on ESPN2.