No. 16 Iowa State (24-10, 12-6 Big 12) held on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with an 84-73 victory over Nevada (28-7, 14-4 MWC) Thursday night at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Iowa State shot 55.6 percent from the field, its fourth-straight above 50 percent shooting effort, and outrebounded its third-straight opponent (38-28) to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in its last 12 tries.
Monte’ Morris was dynamite, leading the Cyclones in scoring (19), rebounds (8) and assists (8). He now has 42 assists in NCAA Tournament play in his career, the most in school history.
Deonte Burton added 14 points and eight boards in the win.
The Cyclones got a huge lift from their bench, outscoring the Wolf Pack reserves 20-4. Donovan Jackson was 4-for-4 from the field en route to 12 points and Darrell BowieClick here to hear it was 4-of-5 from the floor while scoring eight points.
Iowa State led at the half 40-27. The Cyclones shot 58.6 percent from the field while holding the Wolf Pack to 30.0 percent. Bowie and Jackson came off the bench to give the Cyclones a boost. Both were 3-of-3 from the field and had six points each.
The Wolf Pack quickly cut into the Cyclone lead at the beginning of the second half. Cameron Oliver hit a 3-pointer and another jumper to aid a 10-3 Nevada run to inch closer at 49-44 with 13:43 remaining.
After Nevada trimmed the Cyclone lead to four points (55-51), the Cyclones answered with a key 9-0 run. Burton started the run with a hoop down low, followed by a Matt Thomas 3-pointer and buckets from Jackson and Burton to make it 64-51 ISU with 7:12 remaining.
Again, the Wolf Pack countered. Marcus Marshall buried a deep trey and Jordan Caroline threw down a dunk in part of a 9-2 run to cut the Cyclone lead to 71-66 with under three minutes remaining.
Morris then canned five free throws to push the Cyclone lead back up to double digits (78-68), and the Wolf Pack never threatened the rest of the way.