Cyclones lose in classic to Missouri

If a casual basketball fan looked at the statistics instead of the score for the ISU men's basketball team's 69-67 overtime loss to Missouri Tuesday, that person may not be able to discern who won the game.

Similar to the many of the Cyclones' (14-16, 3-12 Big 12) conference losses, the game came to down the bounce of a ball late and Zaire Taylor hit a tough runner over Marquis Gilstrap to give the Tigers (22-8, 10-5) the win.

"We have had ample opportunities to pack it in," McDermott said. "As a player, those losses are far more difficult than getting beat by 20, but they keep showing up and I told them, ‘We haven't quit yet, let's not quit now.'"

This game was especially tight for the Cyclones as neither team led by more than four points the entire game.

"It's terrible to lose the last regular season game at home," center Craig Brackins said. "To lose it like that is just difficult."

In the overtime period, Iowa State did take a four-point lead but Missouri scored four straight to tie it. Gilstrap made a tough runner with 30 seconds to go but Taylor did the same at the other end of the floor. Scott Christopherson missed LaRon Dendy for a possible layup to give the Tigers the ball and set up Taylor's heroics.

"I was just trying to keep him out of the lane," Gilstrap said. "I did that and he just shot some kind of hook shot and it went in."

McDermott said his team had the defensive matchup it wanted.

"I told the team, ‘our defense was easily good enough to win,'" McDermott said. "They scored on the last two possessions of regulation and overtime.

"Three of those four baskets were by Taylor, who was 0-7, the rest of the game," McDermott said. Iowa State did an outstanding job of not letting the game get into a track meet by controlling the tempo. Despite not hitting a three until there was nine minutes left in regulation, the Cyclones were only four points down. Gilstrap and Scott Christopherson then combined for three treys to put Iowa State in front. After Missouri had tied the game and retaken the lead, Diante Garrett and Gilstrap both scored to put Iowa State back in front. Marcus Denmon tied the game before Brackins gave Iowa State a two-point cushion with two free throws. Taylor scored in the final fifteen seconds just to get the game into overtime, however.

"You would like to think as a coach that you find a way to help your team get a win in this situation and I didn't get it done," McDermott said.

Iowa State finished the game with incredible balance with five players in double figures. Gilstrap had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds and so did Brackins with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Garrett had 14 points, Christopherson poured in 11 and Dendy had 12. JT Tiller led the Tigers with a game-high 17.

Both Gilstrap and Brackins were visibly upset with the loss in what could be their final game at Hilton Coliseum. Brackins could decide to test the NBA Draft waters as a possible lottery pick, while Gilstrap would have to get a hardship waiver from the NCAA to return next season.

Brackins said he was frustrated with his play, scoring 12 of his points and corralling eight of his rebounds in the first half.

"I just let them get to me and frustrate me," Brackins said. "It was a product of me not being aggressive."

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