Cyclones fight hard against Tigers, lose late

Playing with just seven scholarship players and eight players overall on their roster, the ISU men's basketball team got close to taking down Missouri on the road, but time and time again, could not get over the top. The Cyclones (13-11, 2-7 Big 12) trailed by just one with just under five minutes remaining but the Tigers (18-6, 6-3) went on a 11-0 run to pull out a 65-56 win.

Iowa State had just pulled within one for the fifth time in the second half on a dunk from Craig Brackins at 54-53 before Laurence Bowers scored on a putback to put Missouri up three. After a Tiger stop, Kim English buried a three with the shot clock running down to put the game away.

"Kim English hit a big shot and we couldn't defend it any better," Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said. "They made a play to beat us and we didn't have enough."

After the English three, Iowa State could not get a shot to fall and Missouri, who was 13-1 at home going into the game, was able to knock down its free throws and ice the game. Iowa State held the Tigers over 15 points under their scoring average for the season but shot a season0low 33 percent, including going just 2 of 14 from beyond the arc.

Marquis Gilstrap, who was instrumental in keeping the Cyclones in the game in the second half, scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Brackins had 12 points and 14 rebounds as well and J. T. Tiller led Missouri with 17 points.

"Iowa State had the chances to go up and our guys just played inspired basketball," Tiger coach Mike Anderson said. "We made some plays and that's what you have to do."

Iowa State scored the first four points of the game at the free throw line but rushed a couple of possessions and that allowed Missouri to get its transition game going and go on a 9-0 run.

After that, however, the Cyclones controlled the tempo of the game, trailing 28-23 at halftime and never going down by more than seven. Iowa State then held Missouri without a field goal for six minutes as they whittled a seven-point Tiger lead to two after a putback from walk-on Alex Dorr and a trey from Dominique Buckley.

Consecutive layups by Chris Colvin and Justin Hamilton pulled Iowa State within one for the first time at 46-45. Missouri got a steal and a jam by Justin Safford but Gilstrap knocked down a long two to answer. Each time the Cyclones pulled within one, they had an opportunity to take the lead but could not get a shot to go down.

"We competed to win this game," McDermott said. "We just missed a couple of close baskets when we had the chance to take the lead."

It is no rest for the weary in the rugged Big 12, and after two close losses, the Cyclones travel to top-ranked Kansas Saturday.

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