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Cyclones Beat VCU in Thrilling Comeback

What a gutsy win for Iowa State

NCAA Basketball: ESPN Events Invitational-Iowa State at VCU Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

It surely was not how anyone drew it up, but Iowa State held on in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational against VCU by final score of 68 to 64.

Virginia Commonwealth let nearly the entire game, racing out in front early and dominating the first half. The Rams were up 33 to 24 at half, as the Cyclones shot under 20% from the floor and struggled with their physicality and length.

Luck seemingly went the way of the Rams as well, as nearly every loose ball out of bounds was awarded to them, several fouls were missed, and several threes hit every part of the hoop before splashing in. VCU, a 28% shooting team from deep, hit 44% in this game, confounding the ISU game plan. Rob Jones was the lone bright spot in the first half, scoring 10 points.

Several big second half runs got the Cyclones back into the game, keyed by Tamin Lipsey, Keshon Gilbert, and Tre King. Iowa State would pull ahead on a Lipsey floater with a minute left and make enough free throws to ice the game.

Lipsey was everything, setting a new career high with 22 points. Gilbert was huge as well, also scoring 22 with 10 rebounds for a double-double.

The Cyclones await the winner of Boise State and Virginia Tech.