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Iowa State rallies past ’Cats

Big 12 Conference

POSTED February 1, 2012 12:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim, left, battles f...

AMES, Iowa (AP) — If there’s been a knock on Iowa State star Royce White this season, it’s been his shooting stroke.
White’s jumper looked pretty sweet on the 8-footer that sent the Cyclones to their second huge win in four days.
White hit the game-winning jumper with 1.8 seconds left as Iowa State rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Kansas State 72-70 on Tuesday night.
White finished with 22 points and Chris Allen had 15 for the Cyclones (16-6, 6-3 Big 12), who’ve won four of their last five — including thrilling back-to-back victories over league-leading Kansas and the Wildcats.
There were “so many plays down the stretch that our guys made,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “So many guys stepped up and played big.”
None bigger than White, who capped an impressive comeback by the Cyclones with perhaps his biggest moment in an Iowa State uniform.
Iowa State’s Chris Babb tied the game at 70 on a free throw with 49 seconds left. The Cyclones then corralled a loose ball after Babb missed his next one to gain possession with the shot clock off, and White drove to the baseline and floated in the deciding bucket.
Though White rarely scores on mid-range jumpers and is shooting just 50.3 percent from the line, the Cyclones cleared out and let White attack the rim.
He responded by knocking down a shot, which he said was his first game-winning shot at any level.
“I was praying they didn’t foul me,” White said. “My teammates trusted me and my coach trusted me, and we had a great team win because of the trust.”
The Cyclones knocked the ball out of the hands of Kansas State’s Will Spradling at the buzzer. Thomas Gipson led the Wildcats (15-6, 4-5) with 13 points.
What appeared to be a pending Kansas State blowout developed into a crushing loss for the Wildcats.
Iowa State opened the second half looking out of sync, and the Wildcats took advantage of that sluggishness by expanding their lead to 14 points. Jamar Samuels capped a 10-2 run with a 3-pointer from the corner with 14:27 left, putting Kansas State ahead 53-39.
The deficit got the Cyclones’ attention, and by the midway point of the second half they’d cut it to 57-51 on a dunk through traffic by White. Allen made it a 60-58 game with a 3-pointer before Spradling answered with a 3 of his own with 7:11 left.
Rodney McGruder, Martavious Irving and Samuels each scored 11 points for Kansas State, which had won five straight in Ames before White’s late heroics.
“We couldn’t get stops down the stretch,” Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. “They scored every time. When you give a good player a look at the rim, he’s not going to miss.”
The Wildcats had turned things around after a 1-3 start in the Big 12, beating Oklahoma State and Texas Tech on the road to reach .500 in the league. But Kansas State’s three-game winning streak was snapped Saturday with a 63-60 home loss to surprising Oklahoma.
The Wildcats had plenty of chances to put away the Cyclones, and Martin pointed to the Wildcats’ inability to grab the ball after Babb’s missed free throw as crucial in the defeat.
“Point-blank, it’s 70-70 after that free throw, and we’ve got to get a rebound and we can’t,” Martin said.
While Kansas State was losing to the Sooners, Iowa State was having its best Saturday in years. The Cyclones took out then-No. 5 Kansas 72-64, giving Hoiberg his biggest win yet. That momentum didn’t carry over early, though, as the Wildcats raced ahead 36-29 at halftime.
Despite looking lifeless for much of the second half, the Cyclones had enough to engineer a comeback big enough to seal the victory.
Scott Christopherson chipped in with 11 points for Iowa State, which already has twice as many Big 12 wins as it did a year ago.
“Defensively and offensively, we picked it up,” Allen said about the rally. “It was bound to happen since we were playing so hard.”

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Tuesday

At Ames, Iowa

MEN

Iowa State 72, Kansas State 70
KANSAS STATE (15-6, 4-5)

     Rodriguez 4-7 0-1 8, McGruder 5-16 0-0 11, Samuels 4-6 1-1 11, Gipson 5-7 3-3 13, Spradling 2-6 1-2 6, Southwell 0-0 1-2 1, Irving 4-5 0-0 11, Ojeleye 1-5 1-2 3, Diaz 3-3 0-0 6, Henriquez 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 7-11 70.
IOWA STATE (16-6, 6-3)

     Babb 3-5 1-2 8, Ejim 3-4 0-0 6, Allen 5-8 2-2 15, Christopherson 1-6 9-11 11, White 10-17 2-7 22, Booker 0-1 2-2 2, Gibson 2-3 1-2 5, McGee 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 25-49 17-26 72.
     Halftime — Kansas State 36-29. Three-point goals — Iowa State 5-11 (Allen 3-4, McGee 1-3, Babb 1-3, Booker 0-1); Kansas State 7-12 (Irving 3-3, Samuels 2-2, McGruder 1-2, Spradling 1-3, Ojeleye 0-1, Rodriguez 0-1). Rebounds — Iowa State 31 (White 8); Kansas State 34 (Ojeleye 10). Assists — Iowa State 9 (Christopherson 4, White 4); Kansas State 14 (Spradling 5, Rodriguez 5). Blocked shots — Iowa State 6 (White 3); Kansas State 5 (Ojeleye 2). Turnovers — Iowa State 10; Kansas State 12. Steals — Iowa State 6 (White 2); Kansas State 6 (McGruder 2, Samuels 2). Totals fouls — Iowa State 16; Kansas State 21. A — 13,456


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