Second-half run does in Cyclones

Big time players come up with big shots and any time Iowa State starting building momentum, Denis Clemente came up with a key three for No. 10 Kansas State. Clemente led four Wildcats (19-4, 6-3 Big 12) in double figures with 30 points, including six three-pointers, in Kansas State's 79-75 win over the Cyclones (13-10, 2-6). Iowa State led 35-31 at the break but could not close the deal.

"What we set out to do, we did except for that stretch early in the second half," Cyclone coach Greg McDermott said. "We lost Clemente a couple of times in transition for threes; it's about seconds, you cannot lose your focus for seconds and we did a couple of times."

Craig Brackins led the Cyclones throughout the game with 29 points and 12 rebounds and was joined in double figures by Marquis Gilstrap with 18 points and eight rebounds. Diante Garrett added 10 points and five assists.

The stretch of the game that really hurt the Cyclones was when Gilstrap was on the bench after picking up his third foul in the first two minutes of the second half. Kansas State took advantage of a five-minute field goal drought by Iowa State and a couple of turnovers to go on a 15-1 run to take a 50-40 lead.

"We had some lapses on defense," Garrett said. "They hit shots during that stretch and we did not."

In fact, six Cyclone turnovers led to 12 points in the first ten minutes of the second stanza to give the Wildcats a 58-47 lead. Brackins had five points as a part of a 9-2 run to pull Iowa State within 60-56, before Curtis Kelly scored five straight points and Clemente stuck a trey to expand the Kansas State lead back out to 68-56. Iowa State's lack of perimeter shooting really hurt during those stretches, as the Cyclones had shot just one of 15 from three-point range until that point.

"It was just one of those nights where no one could hit one," Garrett said. "We have all been in getting up extra shots but they just did not go in."

Iowa State pulled back within seven but Clemente stuck another three to basically ice the game. The Cycloenes did hit three treys in the last two minutes and that got them to within four with the ball in hand with 10 seconds left but it was too little, too late.

"I'm proud of the ways our guys are competing despite being out there the whole time," McDermott said. "They played ten guys double digit minutes and we are going to see a steady stream of that because people know what we are up against.

Brackins did the brunt of the damage early for Iowa State as he scored 14 of its first 19 points in the game. Kansas State still held a 21-15 lead, however, until Brackins and Gilstrap led the Cyclones on a 14-4 run to take a 29-25 lead. Brackins left with seven minutes remaining in the half with a bum ankle but his teammates were still able to take a four-point lead into halftime.

"The ankle is fine," Brackins said. "It just got hit a little bit and sprained but it felt fine the rest of the game."

AllCyclones Top Stories