Kansas St. 92, No. 23 Iowa St. 87, OT
AMES, Iowa (AP) _ Aaron Swartzendruber gave the hometown fans something to cheer about. Well, his hometown fans anyway.
The rest of the 12,000-plus fans at Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum weren’t all that thrilled by his performance.
Cheered on by 40 family members and friends from back home in Kalona, Iowa, Swartzendruber scored 22 points to help Kansas State upset No. 23 Iowa State 92-87 in overtime Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore, making only his third start of the season, hit five of Kansas State’s season-high 13 3-pointers, just two short of his season best against Missouri a week ago.
``I was really excited just coming back to Iowa,″ Swartzendruber said. ``I didn’t play a lot here last year, but I’ve been getting more minutes this year. I really wanted to do well, especially since I had a lot of people here from my hometown.″
Swartzendruber didn’t let them down. He was 5-for-9 on 3-pointers and 8-for-15 overall and also came up with five assists and three steals.
``He played with a poise of a senior out there,″ Iowa State coach Tim Floyd said.
Over the last three games, Swartzendruber has averaged 17 points. He took a 6.3 scoring average into Wednesday night’s game.
``Swartzendruber has progressively gotten better and now he believes he can play at this level,″ Kansas State coach Tom Asbury said.
Eliot Hatcher also scored 22 points for Kansas State (16-9, 7-6 Big Eight) and freshman Shawn Rhodes added a season-high 18 points. Each made three 3-pointers.
Kansas State shot 59 percent from 3-point range (13-for-22). The Wildcats used their outside shooting to offset the absence of 6-foot-11 center Gerald Eaker, who missed the game because of illness, and Iowa State’s big advantage in free throws.
Iowa State (19-8, 8-5) made 26-of-32 free throws, while Kansas State was 15-for-19 at the line.
``They were as efficient as anybody we’ve played against this season,″ said Floyd, who saw his team surrender a season high for points.
``They kind of shoot your belief system right in the foot because we really believe we tried to do the things we needed to do to win the game _ going inside, shooting free throws, all those things.″
Iowa State got a season-high 31 points from Kenny Pratt and 24 from Dedric Willoughby, who ended up playing 42 minutes despite twisting his right knee in the first half. The Cyclones couldn’t hold on after leading by 11 points in the first half and by five with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Kansas State went ahead to stay when freshman Ayome May hit a 3-pointer for an 84-81 lead with 4:33 left in overtime. Swartzendruber came off a screen to hit a 3-pointer from the right wing for an 89-85 lead with 1:05 left and the Wildcats secured the victory with two free throws by Hatcher and one by Tyrone Davis.
``We had a lot of fun playing together tonight,″ Swartzendruber said. ``There were a couple of times we looked at each other and a couple of times Tyrone said, `We played too well in this game. We can’t lose.′ I think that helped a lot.″
The victory kept Kansas State in the running for an NCAA tournament berth. Iowa State probably has a berth locked up with one game left. The Cyclones will finish no worse than tied for second in the league because the only team that could have passed them, Oklahoma, lost at Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
``You’ve gotta give K-State credit,″ Floyd said. ``They came in here and I thought really played a terrific basketball game. They look like an NCAA tournament team to me.″