K-State falls to No. 16 Iowa St in Big 12 quarters

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas State coach Bruce Weber stared at the box score printed on the sheet of paper, a black-and-white rendition of the colorful, back-and-forth game the Wildcats had just finished.

He had a hard time trying to figure out how they had scored 85 points against Iowa State, shot better than 54 percent from the field - and still lost.

“I guess it was an entertaining game,” Weber said, finally.

He was right about that.

Melvin Ejim had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Dustin Hogue added 19 points and 10 boards and the No. 16 Cyclones held on for a 91-85 victory in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.

Georges Niang added 18 points and Naz Long finished with 14 points for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (24-7), who advanced to play the No. 10 Kansas in Friday’s semifinals.

“I mean, we were pretty efficient on offense,” Weber said. “We just didn’t get enough stops.”

Iowa State was clinging to an 87-85 lead with just over a minute left when Ejim missed a layup and the No. 5 seed Wildcats (20-12) got the rebound. They raced the other way, but Shane Southwell lost control of the ball going toward the rim and Iowa State came away with it.

Long was fouled and made both free throws with 16.2 seconds left. Marcus Foster missed a 3 at the other end, and Long scored a layup in transition to put an exclamation mark on the win.

“I had total tunnel vision. I’m thinking, ‘Down two, get to the basket or get the foul,” Southwell said of his late turnover, the biggest blemish on his otherwise solid game

“If I would have just been a little more patient, it probably would have worked out.”

Southwell finished with 19 points, while Foster scored 21 for the Wildcats, who had been holding opponents to a Big 12-best 64.9 points. Freshman guard Nigel Johnson added a career-best 17 points off the bench, and big man Thomas Gipson finished with 13 points.

Iowa State shot poorly in the first half but dominated on the boards, while the Wildcats couldn’t seem to miss yet coughed the ball up nine times.

The upshot of it all was that the teams played nearly to a standstill, just as they did in their two regular-season games. They each won at home in the regular season.

Iowa State had a chance to take a comfortable lead into the break, but Southwell scored a fourth-chance bucket with 14 seconds left in the half. Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg called timeout to set up a play, but DeAndre Kane turned the ball over and Foster hit a 3 before the buzzer.

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