AMES, Iowa —
The worst week of Kansas State's season is over.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, they still have plenty of time to prove they'll be a factor in the Big 12.
Will Clyburn had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Iowa State beat No. 11 Kansas State 73-67 on Saturday to hand the Wildcats their second straight loss after a 15-2 start.
Freshman Georges Niang added 15 points for the Cyclones (14-5, 4-2 Big 12), who beat a ranked opponent for the first time this season.
"Now we had a reality smack," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "We've got to get back to where we were and do the things that we did well to give us a chance."
Kansas State did just that in the second half, shooting 64 percent and answering basket after basket by Iowa State.
The Wildcats simply ran out of chances.
Rodney McGruder broke free for a dunk to get the Wildcats within 70-67 with 48.5 seconds left, but Korie Lucious answered with a layup to make it a two-score game with 20 seconds to go.
Will Spradlin had 15 points and McGruder scored 13 to lead the Wildcats (15-4, 4-2), who lost on the road for the first time in four games.
"The things that made us good for most of the season is that we guarded and out-toughed and outplayed people," Weber said, adding that Iowa State "made more determined plays when it counted."
Kansas State's eight-game winning streak was stopped Wednesday by No. 3 Kansas, which won 59-55 for its 23rd victory in 25 tries at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Wildcats are now on their first losing streak of the season.
Iowa State finally got some breathing room with 5:24 left as Clyburn found Lucious, who stopped under the basket and flipped the ball back to Melvin Ejim for a two-handed stuff that put the Cyclones ahead 63-56. Clyburn then beat three Kansas State defenders for a rebound on the wing, and Niang turned it into a 3-pointer that made it 68-62 with 2:35 left.
Lucious had 10 points and eight assists a day after calling a players-only meeting to rally the Cyclones, who were 11 of 22 from 3-point range.
"We could never really get enough momentum to change the game," Weber said. "When you go 11 from 22 from the 3 it's probably a difference maker. And yet, throughout the whole thing we're right there."
Iowa State had an impressive start to Big 12 play, rattling off wins over Texas, West Virginia and TCU after nearly beating Kansas in Lawrence in the league opener.
But the Cyclones had their momentum stunted by Texas Tech, which on Wednesday handed them their first bad loss, 56-51.
Iowa State responded by being the aggressor early against the Wildcats. The Cyclones went on a 10-0 run capped by a nifty, underhand scoop from Niang to go up 24-15. But Kansas State rallied, moving back in front 27-26 at halftime in large part because Iowa State was just 3 of 10 from the free throw line.
The teams went back and forth for much of the second half, as the Wildcats kept Iowa State from building anything more than a slim advantage until the final minute.
Free throws were a factor as well. The Cyclones were 10 of 22 from the line and Kansas State was 4 of 9.
"I challenged our guys. I said, `Fellas, we are scoring every time down the floor. We've got to find a way to get stops and string them together,"' Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "The last 4 minutes I thought we did a much better job of finding a way to get stops."
Kansas State entered play ranked seventh in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense, while the Cyclones were sixth in the country with 9 made 3s per game.
Iowa State got the better of the Wildcats as far as 3s went and withstood a number of impressive responses by Kansas State.
"We were big on focus," Niang said. "We came back and practice was real tough the last two days. We got after each other."
Shane Southwell had 11 points for Kansas State, which lost despite shooting 50.9 percent from the field.
"We'll be fine. We'll be fine. We're going to compete at a high level," Southwell said.
AMES, Iowa —
The worst week of Kansas State's season is over.
'Twice as Nice'
When it comes to the 3A State Tournament and Oklahoma City, the Verdigris High School basketball teams are a household name.
Head coaches Randy Upshaw and Mike Buntin lead their programs back to the 'Capitol City' this week for a chance to hoist the coveted 3A state championship on Saturday night at the Big House.
Cards fly into 3A State Tournament
Verdigris junior guard Cade Upshaw lives for March Madness.
The 5-foot-10 sharp-shooter overcame a sluggish performance in a loss to Tahlequah Sequoyah to bounce back for a 20-point outing in the Cardinals’ 72-42 win over Antlers Saturday evening in the Class 3A Area Tournament at Checotah Event Center.
CLASS 4A AREA TOURNEY: Vinita eliminates Inola
Vinita used an 18-point third quarter — highlighted by the sophomore leadership of Carsyn Spurgeon — and converted 21-of-34 free throws to notch a 61-55 win over the Inola Lady Longhorns Saturday night in the Class 4A Area Tournament.
‘Soaring to State’
In the hometown of Carrie Underwood, Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell proved to be Oklahoma’s ‘Basketball Idol’ in Class 3A Girls Basketball.
The 5-foot-8 floor general put the No. 4-ranked Lady Cardinals on her shoulders and carried Verdigris back to the the state tournament with the 53-40 win over No. 5 Tahlequah Sequoyah Friday night in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.
CLASS 4A AREA TOURNEY: Stilwell advances to State
A jam-packed, vocal crowd — aided by the control of several Claremore Police officers — witnessed Stilwell’s come-from-behind 57-51 win over Harrah Saturday night in the must-win game of the Class 4A Area Tournament at the Claremore High School Gymnasium.
SOFTBALL: Arkansas cruises past Miss. Valley State
The University of Arkansas softball team completed an undefeated run through the Razorback Invitational Sunday afternoon win with a 13-5 victory over Mississippi Valley State at Bogle Park.
AAC WOMEN'S BB TOURNEY: No. 1 UConn routs No. 3 Louisville for title
New league, same result. It's another championship for UConn.
Breanna Stewart scored 20 points and top-ranked Connecticut beat No. 3 Louisville 72-52 on Monday night to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.
BIG 12 WOMEN'S BB TOURNEY: Sims leads Baylor to championship
Nothing was going to stop Odyssey Sims.
Not her early foul trouble, West Virginia's suffocating defense or the left ankle injury she suffered less than t wo minutes into the Big 12 championship game.
Sims, the Big 12 player of the year, bounced back and scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half to help No. 9 Baylor defeat No. 7 West Virginia 74-71 Monday night and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. It was Sims' fourth championship in four years.
BIG 12 WOMEN'S BB: Kansas State fires coach Deb Patterson
Kansas State has fired women's basketball coach Deb Patterson, announcing the move two days after an opening-round loss in the Big 12 tournament.
NCAA MEN'S BB: Florida, Wichita State stay 1-2 in AP poll
Florida, which finished an unbeaten season in the Southeastern Conference, and Wichita State, which completed an undefeated regular season, are the top two teams in the AP college basketball poll for the third straight week.
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