AMES, Iowa – The game staged in Hilton Coliseum tonight between two perennial NCAA participants was bound to be a knock down drag out.
And it was.
With baskets hard to come by, and an extra period required, Cincinnati (6-1) persevered with a 55-54 overtime victory over No. 19 Iowa State (5-2).
UC’s Jacob Evans connected on a pair of free-throws with :20 seconds left in the overtime period to give the Bearcats a 55-54 lead. ISU had a chance for the win, but Naz Mitrou-Long’s shot was off the mark to end the Cyclones’ 37-game non-conference homecourt winning streak.
Mitrou-Long also had an earlier opportunity for the game-winner in regulation, but his jumper at the buzzer spun in and out.
Monte’ Morris led the Cyclones with 15 points and Matt Thomas chipped in 13 points, seven boards and a career-high-tying four steals.
Iowa State forced UC into 14 turnovers, but struggled to keep the Bearcats off the boards. UC won the rebounding battle, 46-34, including 16 on the offensive glass.
How it Happened
Cincinnati went into the break with a 25-24 lead. Iowa State led by seven points (22-15) with 3:03 left in the first half, but the Bearcats got hot, ending the half on a 10-2 run.
Despite shooting 32.1 percent and committing seven turnovers, UC was able to stay even with the Cyclones by outrebounding the Cyclones, 21-10, including an 8-0 advantage on the offensive glass.
Morris had eight first-half points to pace the Cyclones. Deonte Burton played just eight minutes in the opening period after picking up two quick fouls.
The game swayed back and forth at the beginning of the second half until ISU went on a 7-0 run to take a 40-36 lead at the 10:56 mark. Burton started the run on a desperation trey with the shot clock winding down followed by hoops from Darrell Bowie and Nick Weiler-Babb.
UC then took the lead with eight-straight points to move ahead 44-42 with 5:32 remaining in the contest.
The Cyclones then bounced back with back-to-back conventional 3-point plays, the first from Morris and the second by Bowie, to push ISU back out in front 48-44 with under four minutes to play.
UC’s Gary Clark scored on a jumper in the paint to tie the game at 50-50 with 0:04 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
ISU took a 54-51 lead with 2:27 left in overtime by converting a pair of steals into baskets. Thomas stole the ball and went coast to coast for a lay-up and was followed by a Morris steal and a Burton putback off his miss.
UC then made the plays down the stretch to come out on top.
Players of Note
Matt Thomas scored 13 points and drilled three 3-pointers, including a pair on brilliant step backs. He also tied his career high with four steals.
Monté Morris led the Cyclones with 15 points. His two assists ties him with Jacy Holloway at No. 4 on ISU’s career assist list with 592 dimes.
Darrell Bowie came off the bench to score 11 points. He also grabbed seven boards.
Cyclone Quick Hits
*Cincinnati ended Iowa State’s 37-game non-conference homecourt winning streak. It was the third-longest streak in the nation.
*Iowa State’s 24 points was the lowest half total of the season.
*Matt Thomas recorded his 42nd double-digit scoring game with 13 points.
* Monté Morris dished out two assists to tie Monte’ Morris at No. 4 on ISU’s career assist list.
*ISU has had less turnovers then its opponent (14-7) in all seven games this season.
*ISU has forced its opponent to double-digit turnovers (14) in all seven games this season.
Iowa State will play host to Omaha on Dec. 5. Tip off will be at 7 p.m. CT.