Kansas St. 92, No. 23 Iowa St. 87, OT
AMES, Iowa (AP) _ Tyrone Davis struggled and Gerald Eaker stayed home. Kansas State needed production from someone else and got it from sophomore Aaron Swartzendruber and freshman Shawn Rhodes.
Swartzendruber and Elliot Hatcher each scored 22 points and Rhodes added 18 as Kansas State beat No. 23 Iowa State 92-87 in overtime Wednesday night to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.
The Wildcats (16-9, 7-6 Big Eight) also got a 3-pointer from freshman Ayome May for the go-ahead basket in the first minute of overtime. May finished with 11 points.
``The kids showed a lot of character and guts out there,″ Kansas State coach Tom Asbury said. ``Our kids did not let down and we had so many guys step up for us, especially the freshmen and sophomores.
``Swartzendruber has progressively gotten better and now he believes he can play at this level.″
Swartzendruber made five of Kansas State’s season-high 13 3-pointers, including one in the overtime to keep the Wildcats in control. The 6-foot-2 guard has 51 points in the last three games, including 24 against Missouri a week ago.
``I’ve been feeling confident, especially the second half of the year,″ Swartzendruber said. ``If the looks are there, I’m going to take them.″
Davis, Kansas State’s No. 2 scorer with a 14-point average, made only one of six shots and scored just eight points. The 6-11 Eaker, the Big Eight’s No. 2 shot blocker, was ill and didn’t make the trip.
Iowa State (19-8, 8-5) got a season-high 31 points from Kenny Pratt and 24 from Dedric Willoughby, who sat out three minutes in the first half after twisting his right knee but returned to play a strong game.
But the Cyclones couldn’t stop Kansas State’s outside shooting. The Wildcats shot 59 percent from 3-point range in rallying from an 11-point deficit in the first half and coming from five points down in the final 2 1/2 minutes of regulation.
``I’ve always felt if you can’t guard the 3-point line, you can’t guard,″ Iowa State coach Tim Floyd said. ``We were a day late and a dollar short it seemed like every possession trying to get to the (3-point) line.″
It was 81-81 in overtime when May hit a 3-pointer from the right side with 4:33 left to put Kansas State ahead to stay. A 3-pointer by Swartzendruber gave the Wildcats an 89-85 lead with 1:05 to play and the Wildcats held on as Iowa State missed five of its last six shots.
Two free throws by Hatcher and one by Davis secured the victory.
``They surprised us with their 3-point shooting,″ Iowa State’s Kelvin Cato said. ``They didn’t miss all night long.″
Iowa State led 78-73 after Pratt made one of two free throws with 2:38 left, but Kansas State stormed back. Rhodes’ 3-pointer tied it at 78 and Davis’ two free throws gave Kansas State an 80-78 lead with 1:03 remaining.
Cato sank two free throws for a tie with 45 seconds left and Iowa State got a final shot after Pratt drew a charge from Swartzendruber with 25 seconds to go. But Willoughby missed on a drive and Iowa State couldn’t run down the rebound before time expired, much to Swartzendruber’s relief.
``It was one of those bang-bang plays,″ Swartzendruber said of the charge. ``I was so happy when it went into overtime.″
Asbury had a shiner around his left eye, which he said he got by hitting himself with a telephone receiver. If the Wildcats finish the season strong, he promised to be sporting something else.
``If we win the Big Eight tournament, I’m either going to get an earring, a tattoo or shave my head,″ he said.