Iowa State’s season came to an end tonight after the Cyclones fell to Purdue 80-76.
ISU found themselves in a 13-point hole at halftime and Purdue led by as many as 19 points in the second half, but the Cyclones came roaring back as we’ve seen them do so many times in the past couple years.
Deonte Burton spurred the comeback by taking Purdue’s talented big man Caleb Swanigan off the dribble multiple times, but also struggled to contain Swanigan on the other end of the floor. The Big Ten player of the year finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a classic NCAA Tournament performance. Burton, after an underwhelming first half, finished the game with 25 points on 9-20 shooting.
OHHHHHH!!!! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/xX9a14B2IY— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2017
Iowa State tied the game at 71 points and took the lead on two Burton free throws with 3:11 remaining, but on the ensuing Boilermaker possession, Purdue’s P.J. Thompson hit a 3-pointer and ISU would never lead again. It looked like they might get the chance for a last-second shot to tie or win the game when Dakota Mathias missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds left up two points, but Swanigan skied over Matt Thomas for the rebound in the lane and Thompson hit two free throws to seal the victory.
It’s hard to believe we will never see this group of seniors play another game. In his final game in a Cyclone uniform, Monte Morris finished with 18 points, nine assists and four rebounds. Matt Thomas also played well, going for 20 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Unfortunately, Naz Mitrou-Long’s last outing ended up being a bit of a dud. 3sus finished with just five points after going 1-6 from downtown.
Next year figures to be a rebuilding year with a much younger group of Cyclones. However, they won’t be void of talent, as names like Donovan Jackson, Solomon Young, and Nick Weiler-Babb return. They’ll be joined by incoming recruits Lindell Wigginton, Terrence Lewis and Darius McNeill as Iowa State tries to stay in the top half of the Big 12.
Now, the long, baseball-less offseason begins. Celebrate another enjoyable basketball season with plenty of highs and look forward to rejoining Matt Campbell and ISU football on the gridiron this fall!