Iowa State defeated Nevada 84-73 tonight to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 on Saturday. The opponent for the Cyclones will be the Purdue Boilermakers, who are fresh off beating a tough Vermont team by 10.
For awhile, tonight’s game looked like it could turn into a blowout. ISU went into halftime with a 40-27 lead, built on a half of good shooting and solid interior defense. However, the Wolf Pack wouldn’t go away easily, cutting Iowa State’s lead to just two possessions on multiple occasions in the second half. They could never quite get over the hump though, and the Cyclones nailed their free throws to seal the victory.
As a team, Iowa State shot 55.6% from the field and went 8-19 from 3-point land. They also won the rebounding battle, coming away with a 38-28 edge over Nevada.
A big reason the Wolf Pack were able to keep it close in the second half was because of a few poorly timed turnovers by ISU. In total, the Cyclones coughed the ball up 13 times, and normal ball protector extraordinaire Monte Morris was the team leader with four (!!!).
Speaking of Morris, while he did give the ball up four times, he also led ISU with 19 points, eight assists and eight rebounds in another all-around, stat-stuffing game. Joining Morris in double figures were Deonte Burton (14), Matt Thomas (13), Naz Mitrou-Long (13) and Donovan Jackson (12). Once again, Darrell Bowie had a nice game off the bench, getting eight points on 4-5 shooting while hauling in five rebounds.
There were many highlight reel dunks and blocks in this game from both teams. For Iowa State’s most impressive dunk, check out the one below that came in the first half from Deonte Burton.
As our friends at Mountain West Connection warned us, Nevada had a few amazing players on their roster who showed out in tonight’s game. Cameron Oliver led the Wolf Pack with 22 points, seven assists, and four blocks on the night. Jordan Caroline also cracked 20 points and added eight rebounds and four assists. Marcus Marshall, Nevada’s best guard, got 16 points, but he did it on 5-16 shooting (including going 2-10 from long range).
Iowa State’s next game against Purdue will be Saturday and the tip time is set for around 8:40 p.m. Central on TBS. In the meantime, feel free to visit Purdue’s SB Nation site, Hammer & Rails.