Cyclones Light Up Hilton In Win Over Sooners
By Rob Gray, Reporter
AMES — Dazzing dunks?
Torrid early 3-point shooting?
A Big 12 beatdown?
Iowa State tore into Oklahoma early Monday and kept digging, burying the suddenly reeling Sooners 83-64 before a late-arriving crowd of 13,178 at Hilton Coliseum.
“We just wanted to keep playing, staying aggressive,” said Cyclone senior Will Clyburn, who scored a game-high 19 points. “You never know what can happen, if they can go on a run. You can mess up a bunch of times, so you’ve just got to keep playing.”
The Cyclones (16-6, 6-3) took the lead for good with 16:23 left in the first half and now stand alone in third place in the Big 12 standings.
Oklahoma (14-7, 5-4) has dropped three of its last four games and absorbed its most lopsided loss in the series since falling 100-80 to Jamaal Tinsley and company on Jan. 6, 2001, at Hilton.
“I thought they were sharp,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said, “and we weren’t.”
Clyburn — fresh off his second straight Big 12 rookie of the week honor — grabbed four offensive rebounds and has averaged 21.8 points in his past four games.
One drawback: An emphatic dunk produced a painful side effect for the 22-year-old.
“It hurt,” Clyburn said of a first-half flush that put his team up 37-25. “I’m getting old.”
Six different Cyclones combined to hit seven of their first 10 3-point attempts.
The hot start came on the heels of a season-worst 4 of 24 shooting effort from beyond the arc in Saturday’s 79-71 win over Baylor.
“I think we just played very well,” Babb said. “I think we executed our game plan.”
Forward Melvin Ejim stoked an early 14-2 second-half splurge with seven straight points — including an alley-oop slam crisply set up by Korie Lucious, who finished with eight assists.
And Ejim’s personal run came right after he was whistled for his third foul.
“We made a decision to keep him in there and it worked out great,” said Hoiberg, whose team extended its homecourt win streak to 20 games. “It’s risky. If Melvin picks up his fourth in that situation, then you’re kicking yourself. But I was confident that he would stay out of foul trouble and he did that for seven or eight minutes.”
Ejim and Chris Babb — who sank 4 of 5 from beyond the arc— notched 12 points each and Tyrus McGee added 11 off the bench.
The Sooners didn’t hit a field goal in the first 5:53 of the second half and shot 36.6 percent.
They did pile up 21 offensive rebounds while building a 42-33 edge on the glass, but that stat furnished little solace to Kruger, who said he team was beaten in “pretty much every way.”
“Iowa State did what they wanted to do,” he said.
All with one full day of preparation.
“It’s a good feeling,” Clyburn said. “Everybody was playing together out there.”
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