No. 21 Iowa State beats Oklahoma State 58-50
Mar. 01, 2016
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Georges Niang said he was afraid before his final home game at Iowa State because he realized that he'd like to be in Ames forever.
Niang then went out and showed why Cyclones fans don't want to see him go either.
Abdel Nader scored 19 points, Niang added 17 with 10 rebounds and four assists and No. 21 Iowa State held off Oklahoma State 58-50 on Monday night.
"I don't know if I ever experienced something as great as I experienced here," Niang said. "I think I put my all into this place, and I'm content with closing the chapter at Hilton (Coliseum) because I left everything I had out there."
Jameel McKay had six points with 10 rebounds for the Cyclones (21-9, 10-7 Big 12), who clinched their fifth consecutive winning season in conference play.
Iowa State broke open a tight game with an 11-0 run to start the second half. The Cowboys made it interesting late, closing within 53-47, but ultimately fell to the Cyclones for the seventh straight time.
Tavarius Shine, Jeff Newberry and Joe Burton all scored nine points for Oklahoma State (12-18, 3-14), which has lost five straight. The Cowboys were 4 of 27 from 3-point range.
Iowa State also honored seniors McKay and Nader, both in their second season at Iowa State, before tip-off.
But Monday night was all about Niang.
Niang was a crucial part of Iowa State's first Sweet Sixteen team in 14 years as a sophomore. Last season Niang earned first-team All-Big 12 honors, and this year he became one of just nine players with 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 400 assists in the past two decades.
Niang's talents and his colorful personality — perhaps best exemplified when he blew a kiss at rival Iowa fans last season — made him one the most beloved players Iowa State has ever had.
"It's like he's one of them. Literally," McKay said of Niang's relationship with Iowa State's fan base. "He gets love everywhere he goes. But he deserves it. He put in the work."
Niang keyed the Cyclones crucial run with a basket, an alley-oop pass to McKay and a layup to help put Iowa State ahead 38-25.
Nader then threw down a one-handed dunk over Mitchell Solomon that sent Solomon sprawling to the court. Nader followed with a corner 3 that made it 49-32.
"A great win for us, but this day was all about (Nader, Niang and McKay), and what they've done for this program," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.
Iowa State: The Cyclones had six straight losing seasons in the Big 12 before turning their program around. ... Morris failed to score or have an assist in the opening half.
Oklahoma State: Anthony Allen stuffed Deonte Burton at the basket on a dunk try midway through the first half. ...The Cowboys forgot to go after the ball when Niang shot the front end of a 1-and-1 a few minutes later, and Niang recovered his miss for a wide-open dunk.
Niang's personality was never more evident than midway through the second half when reserve Hallice Cooke swatted the ball away into the stands. Cooke tried to play it cool afterward. But Niang playfully pushed him back while screaming, drawing a smile from Cooke and sending his teammates into a fit of laughter.
Oklahoma State's late run was aided when officials waved off a dunk by McKay that appeared to bounce off a Cowboy's head and back through the basket.
Oklahoma State hosts No. 23 Texas on Saturday.
Iowa State plays at No. 1 Kansas on Saturday.