Alford's Squad Falls



AP Sports Writer

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Reserve John Neal hit two 3-pointers and made two big defensive plays in leading a late surge that carried Iowa State to an 84-76 victory over Iowa on Wednesday night.

Iowa State (11-3), urged on by a boisterous sellout crowd of 14,092, scored 12 straight points to erase a 70-68 Iowa lead and avenge a 54-53 homecourt loss to the Hawkeyes in last season’s NIT.

Iowa (9-6) was leading 68-63 when Neal got the crowd back into the game by hitting a 3-pointer at the 4:31 mark. Iowa State’s Curtis Stinson followed with a pull-up jumper to tie it before Glen Worley hit a baseline jumper to put Iowa back up by two.

But the Hawkeyes had only two free throws by Jeff Horner to show for their next eight possessions and Iowa State pulled away.

Jake Sullivan tied it with a jump shot, and after Horner lost the ball off the dribble, Stinson fired a pass to Damion Staple for a layup that turned into a three-point play. Neal’s second 3 made it 76-70 with 2:02 remaining and he forced turnovers on Iowa’s next two possessions – a bad pass by Pierre Pierce and a steal from Horner.

The Cyclones then wrapped it up with free throws.

Sullivan made five 3-pointers and led Iowa State with 23 points. Jackson Vroman had 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, Stinson added 12 points and Staple had 11 off the bench.

Horner hit six 3s and led Iowa with a career-high 26 points. Brody Boyd had 14 points, Worley 13 and Pierce 12, all in the second half. The Hawkeyes shot 55.6 percent in the second half but finished with 23 turnovers.

Iowa State turned the ball over just nine times and was able to overcome 41 percent shooting and Iowa’s 46-39 rebounding advantage.

Iowa State led 43-34 after each team made seven 3-pointers in the first half. Iowa got back into the game because it slowed the Cyclones’ transition game and Pierce was able to penetrate Iowa State’s zone.

The Hawkeyes scored eight straight points – five by Boyd – to tie it at 52. An 8-3 run that Pierce finished with a reverse layup gave Iowa its 68-63 lead.