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Iowa State beats Kansas State 65-61
Big 12 Conference
spt ap KSU
Iowa States Royce White (30) and Kansas States Jordan Henriquez (21) battle for a rebound in the second half of a Big 12 Conference basketball game on Saturday in Manhattan. - photo by The Associated Press

MANHATTAN (AP) — The coaches who picked Iowa State to finish eighth in the Big 12 probably did not see this one coming.
Scott Christopherson scored 29 points as the Cyclones (21-8, 11-5 Big 12) knocked off Kansas State 65-61 on Saturday.
“That was one of the best performances I’ve seen as far as timing,” forward Royce White said. “We don’t win the game without (Christopherson).”
After building a 37-27 halftime lead, the Cyclones allowed the Wildcats to close the gap with less than 2 minutes remaining.
Kansas State freshman Angel Rodriguez made a free throw to tie it at 61, but Christopherson hit his fifth 3-pointer and put the Cyclones back on top 64-61 with 1:30 left.
Rodriguez missed two free throws, but Christopherson left the door open by missing one as well. Rodney McGruder’s 3-point attempt was no good, and Kansas State had to foul. Chris Allen made one of two, and that was enough.
“We’ve had a couple games where we’ve played very good stretches, but we haven’t closed out the game,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Today we did that.”
The win marked seven victories in nine outings for the Cyclones, who began the streak with an upset of then-No. 10 Kansas on Jan. 28. Iowa State is tied with Baylor for third place in the league standings.
The Wildcats (19-9, 8-8) came into the game with considerable momentum, having secured consecutive wins over Top 10 teams for the first time in program history with victories at Baylor and Missouri.
Henriquez led the Wildcats with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks, but even that performance could not save Kansas State from another home loss.
“We’re a lot more enthusiastic coming in as the underdog,” Henriquez said. “At home, we tend to be a lot more comfortable. Either way, it’s something that has to change, and it has to change right away.”
Thanks to perfect shooting by Christopherson, the Cyclones went on a 17-4 run in the first half to lead 37-27 at the break. After halftime, it quickly became more competitive.
The Wildcats turned their halftime deficit into a 40-38 lead.
McGruder followed two baskets from Henriquez with a 3-pointer that cut Iowa State’s lead to four points with 17:19 left. Rodriguez forced a turnover by taking a charge, then turned around and made a 3-pointer as Wildcats trailed just 38-37. Back on defense, Henriquez made a huge block. Rodriguez hit another 3-pointer to conclude a 17-4 run by the Wildcats, and Kansas State led 40-38.
“That’s one of the hottest teams in the country right now,” Christopherson said. “We knew they were going to make a run. We talked about it.”
Accordingly, Iowa State responded with an 8-0 run of its own. White hit a pair of free throws, and both Chris Babb and Tyrus McGee made 3-pointers as the Cyclones retook the lead with 12:21 left.
Henriquez gave Kansas State a 48-46 lead, but a 13-4 run that included three baskets by Christopherson put the Cyclones back in front 59-52 with 4:28 remaining.
The Wildcats answered with a pair of free throws from Henriquez and a steal and slam by Shane Southwell that brought them with 59-56 with 3:50 to go.
“That team plays so hard,” Hoiberg said. “(Coach Frank Martin) has them prepared all the time to come out and just play tough, physical basketball. Today I really thought that we kept our composure and had really good resilience.”
Said Martin: “There’s a reason they’re above us in the conference standings. They’ve proven they’re a better team than us.”


Big 12 Conference

At Bramlage Coliseum



Iowa State 65, Kansas State 61
IOWA ST. (21-8)

     Ejim 3-7 0-0 6, White 3-7 3-7 9, Babb 1-7 0-0 3, Allen 3-9 1-2 10, Christopherson 10-13 4-5 29, Palo 0-3 0-0 0, Booker 1-2 0-0 2, Gibson 0-0 0-0 0, McGee 2-8 0-0 6. Totals 23-56 8-14 65.
KANSAS ST. (19-9)

     Henriquez 7-12 5-6 19, Samuels 1-4 2-5 4, Rodriguez 4-7 1-4 11, McGruder 5-13 2-3 13, Spradling 2-9 0-0 4, Southwell 4-4 0-0 8, Irving 1-4 0-0 2, Ojeleye 0-1 0-0 0, Gipson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-55 10-18 61.
     Halftime — Iowa St. 37-27. 3-Point Goals — Iowa St. 11-28 (Christopherson 5-5, Allen 3-8, McGee 2-6, Babb 1-6, Ejim 0-1, Palo 0-1, Booker 0-1), Kansas St. 3-17 (Rodriguez 2-3, McGruder 1-4, Irving 0-2, Samuels 0-3, Spradling 0-5). Fouled Out — Rodriguez. Rebounds — Iowa St. 37 (White 12), Kansas St. 35 (Henriquez 12). Assists — Iowa St. 13 (White 7), Kansas St. 16 (Rodriguez 8). Total Fouls — Iowa St. 20, Kansas St. 15. A — 12,528.