"It feels great; I was going to retire if we lost that one," Hoiberg said jokingly. "I was proud of how the guys responded in overtime because it didn't seem like we had gotten a break all season but we found a way."
Diante Garrett, who scored the basket to put his team ahead for the final time, said he felt during warmups that his team was going to find a way to get a win.
"It feels really good to get back in the winning column," Garrett said. "Now we have to build on this and keep pushing forward."
After a defensive struggle in the first game between the two teams, a three-point contest broke out in the first half. Iowa State scored nearly two-thirds of the 62 points it scored in the first matchup in a half that featured 15 3-pointers.
Iowa State finished the half up 41-33 because of two seven-point runs that it made at different points in the half. The first run occurred when the Cyclones were trailing 18-13 to give them a lead that they would have for the majority of the half. The second run finished the half and Scott Christopherson closed that run with a 3 to give his team momentum heading into the break.
The Cyclones were able to keep Nebraska at an arm's length for the majority of the second half, despite giving up 11 offensive rebounds. The last of those rebounds, however, came with Iowa State ahead by three and a Jorge Brian Diaz putback cut the lead to one. After Garrett made two free throws, Lance Jeter, who scored a game-high 27 points, stuck his fifth three of the game to make it 72-72 and extend the game by five minutes.
Hoiberg said he never even considered fouling Jeter.
"We weren't going to foul because we couldn't get a rebound," Hoiberg said. "My biggest fear was, if they make on and miss one, that they kick it out and hit a 3."
In his first game back from an ankle injury that kept him out for nearly two weeks, Jamie Vanderbeken put Iowa State up three early in the extra period with a jumper off the dribble and a 3-pointer. Jeter then gave his team its first lead since the first half, though, by scoring on a drive and then setting up a Toney McCray 3-pointer to make it 79-77.
Melvin Ejim, however, tied the game on the next possession and Garrett put his team ahead 81-79 on a play where he seemed to drive through all five Huskers for a layup. After a switch on defense, Vanderbeken finally put the game on ice by blocking a Jeter 3-point attempt.
"It was great to be back with the guys," Vanderbeken said. "I couldn't travel so watching the games at home and yelling at the TV was no fun."
The offensive outburst by both teams was also shown in the fact that there were five Cyclones in double figures and Calvin Godfrey nearly was with nine points. Garrett led Iowa State with 17 points, while Jake Anderson and Christopherson combined for 26 points and five of the team's 3-pointers. Ejim and Vanderbeken both scored 13 points with Vanderbeken posting a double-double by corralling 10 rebounds in his first game back.
Hoiberg said his big men did a commendable job against the bigger and stronger Huskers.
"If you can punch Texas in the mouth like they did, you have some special players," Hoiberg said. "Our effort was phenomenal."
After possibly bursting the NCAA Tournament bubble of Nebraska in their last conference matchup, Iowa State gets the chance to do the same in its final home game against Colorado. The Buffaloes, who knocked off No. 5 Texas 91-89 Saturday, are moving on to the Pac-10 next season.
"It's a big night for our three seniors and I challenge the other guys to help make it a big night," Hoiberg said. "It's a tough game and hopefully one we can come out on top of and get some momentum going into the Big 12 Tournament."