Just a few days ago, the finalist list for the Bob Cousy Award was released. Iowa State fans immediately noticed something strange... Monte Morris didn’t make the cut.
It was another slight in a career that has been largely overlooked by basketball “experts” who live on the east and west coasts of the country. But everyone who’s a part of Cyclone Nation knew that Morris’ exclusion was just plain wrong.
Today, with a new addition to the already-present chip on his shoulder, Morris nearly tallied a triple-double in leading Iowa State to a 92-83 victory over Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Morris tallied 21 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in the victory — against a great point guard matchup in Jawun Evans, no less.
As Cyclone fan Alex Gookin put it on Twitter...
Monte Morris with the f— you game.— Alex Gookin (@_AlexGookin) March 9, 2017
Take that, Cousy Award voters.
The emotional high point of today’s game took place midway through the second half. Morris caught the ball just past half court and was trapped by two Cowboys. They appeared to tie him up and the refs called jump ball. Then, Morris shoved OSU’s Brandon Averette, leading to a chain reaction of scuffling that resulted in technicals being assessed to Averette and ISU’s Donovan Jackson.
At the time of the double technical, Iowa State’s lead was just five points. But in the next few possessions following the scrum between both teams, ISU extended their lead to 11 points thanks to two huge 3-pointers by “Big Balls” Jackson. From there, the Cyclones never let OSU get within striking distance, despite a valiant effort from Evans, who led all scorers with 29 points (on 21 shots).
Perhaps the X-factor for the Cyclones today was the play of Darrell Bowie, who came off the bench to score 13 points and grab four rebounds. Six of Bowie’s points came on dunks, including this one which left Oklahoma State’s Mitchell Solomon on a poster.
Deonte Burton (17 points), Naz Mitrou-Long (14), and Matt Thomas (13) all had double-digit outings to join Morris and Bowie.
As a team, ISU shot 53.6% from the field inside the Sprint Center, otherwise known as Hilton South. The Cyclones also connected on half of their 3-point attempts, going 12-24 from beyond the arc.
Iowa State will look to continue their impressive play in tomorrow’s semifinal matchup of the Big 12 Tournament against the winner of this afternoon’s game between Kansas and TCU. Regardless of who wins, the Cyclones will play at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPN or ESPN2.
Enjoy the win, Cyclone fans. And if you’re able, get down to Kansas City to support the team!