No. 16 Iowa State’s (24-11, 12-6 Big 12) furious second-half rally fell just short, as the Cyclones lost to No. 15 Purdue (27-7, 14-4 Big Ten), 80-76 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night in Milwaukee.
The Cyclones were down by as many as 19 points in the second half and came all the way back to take the lead with just over three minutes to play. Purdue answered with seven-straight points after ISU took its first lead and P.J. Thompson made two free throws with 0:07 seconds left to ice the game.
Deonte Burton played a huge part in the Cyclone comeback, scoring 17 of his 25 points in the second half. He was 9-of-20 from the field and tallied four boards.
Monte’ Morris added 18 points and nine assists and Matt Thomas scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
ISU shot 54.8 percent in the second half to make 50 percent for the game (30-60), its fifth-straight game where it made at least of its shots. However, the Cyclones struggled from beyond the arc, making just 7-of-23 for 30.4 percent.
Purdue led at the half, 44-31. The Boilermakers shot 56.7 percent, making their final six shots of the opening period. Thomas kept the Cyclones in the game by scoring 12 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting.
The Purdue lead grew to 19 points (58-39) after Caleb Swanigan scored seven-straight points. ISU then countered with a 7-0 run jumpstarted by a Naz Mitrou-Long 3-pointer.
The Boilermakers again forged ahead, 63-48, but 12-straight points by the Cyclones trimmed the lead to 63-60 with under eight minutes left. Donovan Jackson and Morris both hit treys in the run and suddenly the Cyclones were right back in it.
A conventional 3-point play by Vince Edwards gave Purdue a 68-62 lead with under six minutes remaining in the game, but Burton scored five-straight points to cut the lead to one point (68-67) at the 4:52 mark. Thomas then hit a bank shot and Burton drained a pair of free throws to give ISU its first lead of the game at 73-71 with 3:11 left.
Thompson rattled in a 3-pointer followed by a Swanigan hoop, and the Boilermakers were back up 76-73. ISU then had costly turnovers on its next two possessions to allow Purdue to move ahead 78-73 with under two minutes left.