White Strong, but Iowa State Falls to Kentucky

Iowa State's bench waits for the clock to run out as Kentucky defeated the Cyclones, 87-71, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Saturday, March 17, 2012. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)

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By James Steward

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — Royce White did it all for Iowa State, just like he has all season.

Against Kentucky, that wasn't nearly enough.

White had 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, but Iowa State couldn't overcome the Wildcats' dominating second-half run in an 87-71 loss in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.

"I was very motivated tonight just because of what was at stake," White said. "Definitely disappointing. The most disappointing thing is personally it just feels like we let Ames down. Even though we had an over-exceeding season, the end of the day, you want to keep going and give them that excitement back home."

It turned out to be a tall challenge for the Cyclones (23-11) after they knocked off defending national champion Connecticut on Thursday night.

Freshman Marquis Teague scored a career-high 24 points and added seven assists on a Kentucky roster that's full of NBA talent.

Freshman Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, senior Darius Miller added 19 points and Doron Lamb finished with 16. The Wildcats (34-2) used a 20-2 burst to break away from a tie. They'll face fourth-seeded Indiana on Friday.

"We've got nothing to hang our head about. We got beat by the No. 1 overall seed that played an incredible game," Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We're going to walk out of Lexington, I'm sorry, where are we? Louisville, with our head held high."

White, who almost transferred to Kentucky before settling in Ames, kept Iowa State close and was part of a key rally that helped the Cyclones erase a 12-point halftime deficit.

"Royce is Charles Barkley," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "He slow dribbles you, and then he makes a move. He controls. He'll pass. No, Charles would not pass. Let me restate that, but plays with that kind of big hands and gets it on the rim."

Even with White's work, Iowa State couldn't contend with Kentucky's overwhelming offense and smothering defense after tying it 42-all with 16:23 left.

Teague and Kentucky simply turned up the pressure with their big run.

Terrence Jones hit a basket, Miller added another and Jones flipped an alley-oop to Davis. After two free throws by Scott Christopherson, the Wildcats ran off 14 straight points that made it 62-42.

Jones finished with eight points and 11 rebounds as Kentucky led by as many as 24 with 6:27 left while shooting 55.4 percent from the field on the night.

Chris Allen scored 16 points, and Christopherson finished with 15 for the Cyclones, who struggled from 3-point range.

"Our biggest strength is the 3-point shot, and we go 3 for 22," Hoiberg said. "We're not going to win very many games when we shoot the ball like that."

In this tournament, Kentucky has remained the mark of consistency so far and made the most of its two games in its own state, just 75 miles from campus. Seemingly every member of Big Blue Nation attended, including actress Ashley Judd, who was stationed just behind the bench with Calipari's family.

Even with the loss, Iowa State believes it's on the way to building something bigger.

"I think we proved a lot of people wrong," said Allen, who finishes his career with two Final Four appearances when he played at Michigan State. "Nobody thought we would make the NCAA tournament. I love my teammates to death for making the tournament. I just wanted to keep playing."

IOWA ST. (23-11)

Ejim 1-5 1-4 4, White 9-12 5-9 23, Babb 0-2 0-0 0, Allen 6-19 3-3 16, Christopherson 5-11 4-4 15, Palo 1-2 2-2 4, Booker 0-3 0-0 0, Gibson 3-4 3-3 9, McGee 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 18-25 71.

KENTUCKY (34-2)

Jones 3-9 2-4 8, Kidd-Gilchrist 1-4 0-0 2, Davis 4-9 7-9 15, Lamb 5-8 1-2 16, Teague 10-14 3-5 24, Miller 7-11 2-2 19, Wiltjer 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 31-56 15-22 87.

Halftime_Kentucky 38-27. 3-Point Goals_Iowa St. 3-22 (Ejim 1-2, Christopherson 1-4, Allen 1-10, Booker 0-1, Babb 0-2, McGee 0-3), Kentucky 10-20 (Lamb 5-7, Miller 3-6, Wiltjer 1-1, Teague 1-3, Davis 0-1, Jones 0-1, Kidd-Gilchrist 0-1). Fouled Out_Jones, Palo, White. Rebounds_Iowa St. 31 (Ejim, White 9), Kentucky 40 (Davis 12). Assists_Iowa St. 7 (White 4), Kentucky 19 (Teague 7). Total Fouls_Iowa St. 17, Kentucky 19. Technicals_Iowa St. Bench, Jones. A_21,757.
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