STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - A pair of unlikely players helped Iowa State win one of the most thrilling games of the college basketball season.
Naz Long hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 1.4 seconds left in the second overtime and Monte Morris drained a three in the final minute of the third overtime to help the 16th-ranked Cyclones defeat No. 19 Oklahoma State 98-97 in triple overtime on Monday night.
Long, a sophomore, was averaging 6.9 points per game and Morris, a freshman, averaged 6.5. Neither hesitated under pressure.
“I think you guys have been seeing it all year - those guys can play,” said Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, the Big 12’s leading scorer. “One through 12, we can play, and the confidence coach instills in us, in each player, to go out and knock down that shot with confidence - it showed today. We had multiple guys step up and make big shots. That’s what it’s all about.”
Iowa State’s stars did their part. DeAndre Kane had 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while primarily being guarded by Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart. Ejim had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Georges Niang scored 17 points and Dustin Hogue added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (17-4, 5-4 Big 12). It was Iowa State’s first victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena since March 2, 1988 - back when both teams were still in the Big 8 Conference.
“To gut this win out was huge,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It would have been a very difficult loss fighting three overtimes and walking out of here with a loss. I’m proud of our guys for finding a way to win it.”
Le’Bryan Nash scored 26 points, Smart had 20 points and eight assists and Markel Brown added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma State (16-6, 4-5), which lost its third in a row. Oklahoma State was without guard Stevie Clark, who was kicked off the team Monday after his second arrest of the new year.
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, normally talkative, had little to say after the game.
“We had our chances,” he said. “We didn’t rebound the basketball at crucial times. Obviously, Iowa State made big shots and had big rebounds. We didn’t rebound when it counted.”
“I could’ve kept going,” Nash said. “I love basketball, but it was a tough game. We played as hard as we can.”
Oklahoma State honored former coach Eddie Sutton at halftime, and Hoiberg knew that would add a little energy to the crowd.
“It’s a hard place to play and they do a great job,” he said. “Coming in on Eddie Sutton night, we knew there was going to be a little extra emotion in this building.”
Time after time, Iowa State found ways to suck the energy out of it.
Morris hit his big 3-pointer from the corner with 43 seconds left in the third overtime to put Iowa State up 96-95.