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College Basketball: #7 Iowa State defeats #1 Houston, 69-41, wins Big 12 Championship

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Iowa State (27-7) blitzed No. 1 Houston (30-4) on its way to a 69-41 victory Saturday evening at T-Mobile Center as it won the Big 12 Championship for the fifth time in the last 10 tournaments and the sixth time overall.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Iowa State (27-7) blitzed No. 1 Houston (30-4) on its way to a 69-41 victory Saturday evening at T-Mobile Center as it won the Big 12 Championship for the fifth time in the last 10 tournaments and the sixth time overall.

In a battle of the Big 12’s two best defensive teams it was Iowa State that reigned supreme, holding the Cougars to just 26.8 percent shooting from the field (15-56) to hand the Cougars their worst loss of the Kelvin Sampson era, as well as the largest margin of victory ever in a Big 12 Championship game.

The win also marked Iowa State’s fourth-ever win against a No. 1 team. The 28-point win was also the third-largest margin of victory ever over a No. 1 team.

How It Happened
The Cyclones held a 30-23 lead at the half behind a stifling defensive effort that limited the nation’s top-ranked team to just 28.1 percent field goal shooting.

Houston took an 11-9 lead before the Cyclones heated up from long distance. Three-pointers by Curtis Jones and Milan Momcilovic propelled the Cyclones on an 8-0 run to put them up 17-11 and force a Houston timeout with 9:11 left in the opening period. The teams swapped baskets and the Cougars trimmed the ISU lead to 24-21, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Momcilovic and Tamin Lipsey extended the lead back to 30-21. Houston got a late basket to make it a seven-point deficit at the half. Keshon Gilbert, who scored ISU’s first four points of the game, finished the half with nine points.

The Cyclones went on a 10-0 run to open the second half and never looked back, extending its lead to as many as 32 points. Houston started the second half just 1-for-14 as ISU led 54-28 with 7:52 remaining in the game.

The rest was just semantics as the Cyclones rolled to T.J. Otzelberger’s first championship as head coach at Iowa State.

Top Performers
The freshman Momcilovic led the Cyclones with 18 points, connecting on four 3-pointers.

Gilbert added 16 points, while Hason Ward chipped in 13 points off the bench.

All-Tournament Team
Gilbert, Lipsey, Momcilovic earned spots on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament team. Gilbert was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

Up Next
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament selection show will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. (CT) on CBS.

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