"We haven't had a lot go our way this year," ISU head coach Greg McDermott said. "Banked 3-point shots and loose balls seem to end up in our opponents' favor. I'm really proud of my team's effort. I've been saying all year long why I still enjoy coaching this team. When you have leadership like we did in this game, where guys put their team first and fight through adversity--that's really hard to do."
The ISU senior class (Alex Thompson, Petersen, Sean Haluska) jumpstarted the Cyclones by scoring 12 of ISU's first 14 points to help the home team take a 14-4 lead at the first media timeout. Petersen buried two treys and Thompson scored two buckets, as the trio made their first five shots.
Tech then went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 16-11 with 14:04 left in the first half period. Damir Suljagic had four points in the run. Tech evened the game at 20-20 with a 9-2 run. Nick Okorie tallied a pair of buckets, as the Red Raiders started to heat up.
A Mike Singletary bucket gave the Red Raiders a 26-21 lead, but ISU then went on a 17-6 run to take a 39-32 lead with 1:30 left in the opening stanza. A Petersen trey, his fifth of the half, gave ISU an eight-point lead with 0:05 seconds left, but John Roberson answered with a 35-foot desperation shot at the buzzer to make it 42-37 ISU at the break.
ISU increased its lead to 10 points (51-41) with 17:18 left in the game after Craig Brackins scored down low. The Red Raiders cut the lead to five points at 55-50, but Justin Hamilton and Jamie Vanderbeken tallied back-to-back buckets to push ISU back out in front 59-50 with 11:34 left in the game.
The Red Raiders would not go away, scoring six-straight point to make it 59-56 with 10:24 remaining in the contest. Haluska and Petersen gave ISU some breathing room with a trey and a pair of free-throws to move the home team back up 66-58 with just over eight minutes remaining.
TTU cut the lead down to two points at 72-70 with under two minutes remaining after Singletary scored four-straight points. A John Roberson lay-in cut the lead to one-point at 73-72, but Diante Garrett responded with a lay-up to give the Cyclones a 3-point lead at 75-72 with 1:21 remaining in the contest.
Clinging to a two-point lead with 0:36 left, Garrett grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled, hitting both shots to give ISU a four-point advantage. However, Roberson pulled up from way out on TTU's next possession and drilled a trey to make it 77-76 with 0:31 left in the game.
Garrett was fouled again, this time making just one of two shots to stay in front by two points (78-76) with 0:21 seconds left. Tech had two good looks for 3-pointers, including a final shot by Singletary that bounced off the back iron at the buzzer.
ISU committed a season-low five turnovers in the game. Brackins tallied his 14th double-double of the season with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Garrett finished with 17 points and six assists.
Haluska, who also playing in his final home game as a Cyclone, was also instrumental in the win. Haluska held Tech's Alan Voskuil to just three points on 1-of-5 shooting from the floor. Voskuil was coming off a 35-point, nine-trey game vs. Kansas on Wednesday.