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College Basketball: No.4 ISU wears down No. 25 WSU in NCAA Second Round game, 67-56, faces Illinois in Sweet 16

OMAHA, Neb. – No. 4 Iowa State (29-7, 13-5 Big 12) advanced to its second Sweet 16 in the past three seasons under head coach T.J. Otzelberger on Saturday night, defeating No. 25 Washington State (25-10, 14-6 Pac-12) by a score of 67-56. Coach Otzelberger becomes the first ISU head coach to take two Cyclone teams to the Sweet 16.

OMAHA, Neb. – No. 4 Iowa State (29-7, 13-5 Big 12) advanced to its second Sweet 16 in the past three seasons under head coach T.J. Otzelberger on Saturday night, defeating No. 25 Washington State (25-10, 14-6 Pac-12) by a score of 67-56. Coach Otzelberger becomes the first ISU head coach to take two Cyclone teams to the Sweet 16.

The Cyclones were tested early, as they fell behind 7-0 and were held to just two field goals in the first 11 minutes of action. ISU adjusted and outscored the Cougars by 11 in the second half to claim its 29th victory of the season – making this season the second most-winningest in school history.

ISU moves to 23-22 all-time in NCAA Tournament appearances and 7-6 in second round games. The team earned its seventh Sweet 16 appearance in school history.

Iowa State moved to 30-1 under Coach Otz when four or more players finish in double figures, as Tamin Lipsey (15), Curtis Jones (14), Milan Momcilovic (10) and Keshon Gilbert (10) powered the Cyclone offense. The post trio of Hason Ward, Tre King and Robert Jones combined for 21 rebounds, and they handled WSU’s leading scorer, holding Isaac Jones to just eight points.

Washington State was led by Jaylen Wells who had a game-high 20 points on 8-17 shooting from the floor. Redshirt freshman Myles Rice had 13 points with a pair of assists while the aforementioned I. Jones had eight points and nine rebounds.

Iowa State struggled out of the gates, going down 7-0 early to Wazzu and missing its first nine field goal attempts. The Cyclones were limited to just six points in the first eleven minutes of game action. In fact, the Cyclones were held to just two field goals during that span.

ISU was able to find its groove eventually, rattling off 21 points in the remaining nine minutes of action, sparked by a Curtis Jones alley oop to Hason Ward. That lob, along with a Gilbert and Lipsey layup gave the Cyclones a 6-0 run to make it 14-12 in favor of WSU. Iowa State took its first lead of the game at the 5:36 mark thanks to a Gilbert free throw.

The two teams exchanged blows over the remaining five minutes, eventually going into halftime knotted at 27 apiece. Both Lipsey and Gilbert had seven at the break with Curtis Jones chipping in six. The Cyclones shot just 31 percent (9-of-29) in the first stanza.

Washington State was 4-15 in the opening half, but Jaylen Wells was 7-12, scoring 16 of the 27 points.

The Cyclones wouldn’t allow a repeat of the first half in the beginning minutes of the second, punching first and zipping out to a 33-27 lead on a 6-0 run. In fact, ISU used a 14-2 run (across the end of the first into the second) to claim its largest lead of the game to that point.

The Cougars absorbed the early half blow and responded, trimming the ISU second half lead to one, 36-35, at the 13:47 mark. That was as close as they’d get though the rest of the way, as the Cyclones put Wazzu into a chokehold, slowly but surely suffocating Washington State on defense and converting on offense.

Iowa State pushed its lead to as large as 14 with 26 seconds remaining in the game, as it advanced to its fourth Sweet 16 in the last 11 seasons. Momcilovic had 10 second half points to help the Cyclones put away the Cougars.

Top Performers

Tamin Lipsey was cool, calm and collected for the Cyclones, as the sophomore from Ames High had a team-high 15 points with five boards and four assists. Tamin was plus-14 and perfect from the charity stripe as he helped the Cyclones dig deep and power past the Cougars in the second half.

Notes

· Tre King made his 560th career field goal and now has 1,434 career points.
· Curtis Jones is now one assist away from 200 in his career.
· Keshon Gilbert pulled down career rebound number 350 on the night.
o He’s now seven points shy of 500 on the year.
· Milan Momcilovic is now number two all-time amongst ISU freshman for most threes in a season (61).

Up Next

With the win, Iowa State advances to the Sweet Sixteen and East Regional semifinals in Boston. Mass. The Cyclones will face No. 10 Illinois. Game date and time are yet to be determined.

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