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Iowa State Tops Drake In Des Moines


This news story was published on December 15, 2012.
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Courtesy: cyclones.com –

DES MOINES, Iowa -Melvin Ejim tallied a double-double (21 points/11 rebounds) to help Iowa State (8-3 overall, 0-0 Big 12) to an 86-77 victory over Drake (4-5 overall, 0-0 MVC) at the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic in Wells Fargo Arena in front of 13,180 fans.

Ejim, who tallied his career high of 22 points as a freshman at the Wells Fargo Arena vs. Creighton as a freshman, posted his fourth double-double and the seventh double-digit rebounding effort of the season. The junior recorded career highs in free-throws made (11), steals (four) and assists (four).

Will Clyburn was instrumental in the victory, posting his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He was also 9-for-9 at the free-throw line.

Both teams suffered from foul trouble in the first half. A total of 23 fouls were called in the opening period, as both squads sat key players and struggled to get into a flow on offense.

Drake posted a 9-0 run to take an early 13-6 lead, but the Cyclones answered with an 8-0 run capped off by a Georges Niang bucket to go up 14-13 with 11:39 remaining in the first period.

ISU held the lead throughout most of the first half, taking an eight-point lead at 30-22 with 5:03 remaining. The Cyclones led at the break, 37-33 behind Ejim’s 10 points and nine boards.

Iowa State stretched its lead to 10 points at 52-42 after an Ejim bucket with 15:25 left in the game.

Drake slowly whittled away at the Cyclone lead, cutting it to two points at 67-65 with 7:34 left in the game after a Seth VanDeest basket. Percy Gibson scored down low followed by a pair of Ejim free throws to move ISU back out in front, 71-65 moments later.

With ISU leading 77-71 with under three minutes left, Drake rebounded a Cyclone miss, but Clyburn stole the outlet pass and threw down a dunk and was fouled. He hit the free-throw to give ISU a comfortable 80-71 lead.

Iowa State once again dominated the boards, outrebounding Drake, 45-30, its 10th opponent the Cyclones have outrebounded this season.

The Cyclones recorded a season-low four 3-pointers, but went to the free-throw line a season-high 41 times, connecting on 31 attempts.

Chris Babb tallied 13 points and Niang posted 13 points in the victory.

Iowa State travels to UMKC on Wednesday (Dec. 19).

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