Dec. 10, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
AMES, Iowa — Monte Morris’ runner with nine seconds remaining propelled No. 2/4 Iowa State to an 83-82 come-from-behind victory over the University of Iowa men’s basketball team Thursday night in an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup inside Hilton Coliseum.
The Hawkeyes led 82-74 with 2:36 remaining before the Cyclones closed the game on a 9-0 run. Two Morris free throws cut the lead to six points before Iowa turned the ball over on successive inbounds passes under its own basket.
A Matt Thomas 3-pointer cut the deficit to 82-79 with 1:05 remaining before Iowa State’s full-court pressure forced a five-second call and George Niang made two free throws to make it a one point game (82-81) with under a minute left.
Iowa State’s defense was at it again on Iowa’s next possession, forcing a shot clock violation, giving the Cyclones the ball with 22 seconds to play.
Morris took the final shot and delivered, connecting on a runner with nine seconds left to give Iowa State its first lead since 4-2 less than three minutes into the game. Iowa elected not to call a timeout and senior Jarrod Uthoff couldn’t connect on an off-balance last-second 3-pointer.
Iowa finished the game with a 47.7 field goal percentage, making 31-of-65 attempts. The Hawkeyes shot just 36.4 percent in the second half. Iowa made 11-of-27 3-point field goals, and won the rebounding battle, 37-36.
Uthoff led all scorers with 32 points, but only two came after the break. The forward was 11-of-13 in the first 20 minutes with five 3-pointer; he finished 12-of-20 for the game and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Uthoff was in another world in the first half, nearly out-scoring the Cyclones by himself. Iowa made seven of its first 10 shots in building a 23-14 lead and back-to-back Uthoff jumpers gave the Hawkeyes a 29-17 advantage midway through the opening half.
Iowa pushed its lead to 20 points (43-23) on a Uthoff jumper at the 4:42 mark and consecutive Uthoff 3-pointers — his fourth and fifth of the first half — made the score 49-30 with 1:46 remaining. Iowa State scored five points in the final minute, cutting its deficit to 14 (49-35) at the break.
Jok caught fire in second half, connecting on three 3-pointers to score 11 of Iowa’s first 13 points. His 3-pointer at the 16:50 mark extended the Hawkeyes’ margin to 20 points (62-42) for a second time.
Trailing 69-54 with 11:45 to play, Iowa State rattled off 10 unanswered points to trim the deficit to 69-64. Jok ended Iowa drought with a jumper at the 7:42 mark before the Cyclones scored the next five points with a Niang 3-point cutting the deficit to 71-70 with 5:55 left.
With the score 75-74, Iowa fought back with a 7-0 spurt behind a Uthoff jumper — his only field goal of the second half — a key Anthony Clemmons 3-pointer to give Iowa an 82-74 lead. The Hawkeyes didn’t score again.
Jameel McKay and Morris paced the Cyclones with 20 points apiece. McKay also had a game-high 12 rebounds, while Morris had nine assists. Thomas added 19 off the bench on six 3-pointers, and Niang finished with 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Iowa State shot 50 percent in the second half and 48.6 percent for the game. The Cyclones made nine 3-pointers, had a 42-28 advantage in points in the paint, and scored 32 points off 17 Iowa turnovers.
Iowa (7-3) returns to action Dec. 19, facing Drake in the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic in Des Moines. Game time is set 3:30 p.m. (CT) from Wells Fargo Arena.