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Ejim helps rally Iowa State past Oklahoma
Big 12 Tournament
spt ap Ejim
Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim gets past Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (3), forward Romero Osby (24) and guard/forward Cameron Clark (21) to put up a shot during the first half of a Big 12 tournament game on Thursday at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. - photo by The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Melvin Ejim had a double-double and Will Clyburn fueled a 12-0 second-half run, helping Iowa State survive an uncharacteristic 3-point drought to beat Oklahoma 73-66 on Thursday and end a seven-year losing streak in the Big 12 tournament.
The Cyclones, who led the country and set a school record with 309 3-pointers, missed 11 of their first 12 from behind the arc and fell 14 points behind. But they found the range in the second half and hit six 3-pointers while chalking up their first conference tournament win since 2005.
In the semifinals on Friday, the fifth-seeded Cyclones (22-10) will meet the winner of the Thursday afternoon match between top-seeded Kansas and No. 9 seed Texas Tech.
Ejim led Iowa State with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Clyburn had 17 points, and Georges Niang and Chris Babb each had 10.
Oklahoma (20-10) was led by Romero Osby’s 18 points. Cameron Clark had 17, including two free throws that gave the Sooners a 60-48 lead. But then Niang hit a 3-pointer and ignited the 12-0 run in which Clyburn scored seven points, including a long 3-pointer that tied it at 60 at the 4:09 mark and brought several thousand Iowa State fans roaring to their feet.
Clyburn banked home an Iowa State bucket during the 12-0 run, then hit the 3-pointer. Oklahoma’s Sam Grooms had two air balls during the run but canned a free throw to tie it the score at 63 before Tyrus McGee’s 3-pointer put the Cyclones ahead for good at 66-63.
Another Grooms free throw sliced the led to two points but then Ejim banked home another bucket for Iowa State, and Babb drilled a 3-pointer for a 71-66 lead.
Romero, the first Sooner in four years to be voted first-team all-conference by Big 12 coaches, had 12 points and seven rebounds as the Sooners dominated the first half and pushed the bulge to 32-18 on Je’lon Hornbeck’s two free throws.
Osby rimmed out a free throw midway through the second half for the Sooners’ first missed foul shot against the Cyclones since tying an NCAA record by going 34 for 34 in their previous game against each other. The streak ended at 39 straight, and for the game, the Sooners were 15 of 18 from the line.
The Cyclones, who led the nation and set a school record with 309 regular-season 3-pointers, misfired on their first 10 attempts from beyond the arc and were only 1 of 12 while trailing almost the entire first half. For the game, they were 7 of 26 while going 14 of 14 from the foul line.
The Cyclones did not hit their first 3 until Babb connected with less than 2 minutes left in the half, capping a 7-2 spurt which trimmed Oklahoma’s lead from 30-18 to 32-25.
Two possessions later, Steven Pledger hit Oklahoma’s second 3, and the Sooners eventually went into halftime with a 37-29 lead.
Ejim’s two free throws capped the scoring for Iowa State, which had split with the Sooners during the regular season.

Big 12 Conference Tournament



At Kansas City, Mo.
Sprint Center

Iowa State 73, Oklahoma 66
IOWA STATE (22-10)
     Babb 4-6 0-0 10, Ejim 8-13 7-7 23, Lucious 0-8 0-0 0, Clyburn 6-14 3-3 17, Niang 4-9 0-0 10, Palo 0-0 0-0 0, Booker 1-1 2-2 4, Gibson 1-2 0-0 2, McGee 2-8 2-2 7. Totals 26-61 14-14 73.
OKLAHOMA (20-11)
     Grooms 2-6 4-6 8, Pledger 3-11 1-1 8, Hornbeak 2-5 2-2 7, M’Baye 3-7 0-0 6, Osby 8-19 1-2 18, Hield 0-4 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 1-3 0-0 2, Cousins 0-1 0-0 0, Clark 5-7 7-7 17. Totals 24-63 15-18 66.
     Halftime—Oklahoma 37-29. Three-point goals—Iowa State 7-26 (Babb 2-4, Niang 2-4, Clyburn 2-5, McGee 1-6, Ejim 0-2, Lucious 0-5), Oklahoma 3-18 (Osby 1-2, Hornbeak 1-3, Pledger 1-6, Grooms 0-2, Hield 0-2, M’Baye 0-3). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Iowa State 43 (Ejim 12), Oklahoma 31 (Osby 9). Assists—Iowa State 17 (Lucious 9), Oklahoma 10 (Osby 4). Total fouls—Iowa State 15, Oklahoma 15.