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5/5 K-State’s Late Rally Comes Up Short to 12/13 Iowa State, 80-76

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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

AMES, Iowa – In a game befitting the first top-15 matchup in the 246-game history between the schools, No. 12/13 Iowa State made the right plays at the right moments to hold off a late rally by No. 5/5 Kansas State for 80-76 win on Tuesday night before a sold-out crowd of 14,267 fans at Hilton Coliseum.

Down 59-49 with 8:12 to play, K-State (17-3, 6-2 Big 12) made a late charge behind the play of senior Markquis Nowell, who scored 5 points in a 10-1 run that closed the deficit to 60-59 at the 5:43 mark. However, senior Caleb Grill made his only shot – a 3-pointer – on the next possession after a big offensive rebound from freshman Tamin Lipsey that gave Iowa State (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) a 63-59 lead and more breathing room.

Five times down the stretch, the Wildcats closed to within one possession but each time the Cyclones seemed to answer any big shot with one of their own to remain perfect (11-0) at home. Nowell, who continued his stellar play with a game-tying 23 points and a game-high 9 assists, missed a layup with 14 seconds left that would’ve pulled K-State to within 76-75. Lipsey grabbed the defensive rebound and Grill sink a pair of free throws for a 78-73 lead.

Nowell gave the Wildcats’ one last chance at 78-76 with 3 seconds left after he made all 3 free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer, but senior Jaren Holmes was able to knock down both free throws for the final margin.

The loss was the first this season by single digits after starting 9-0 in such contests.

Nowell continued his stellar play with another near double-double, scoring a game-tying 23 points to go with a game-high 9 assists in 38 minutes. He has now scored 20 or more points seven times this season, including on six occasions in Big 12 play. He was one of four Wildcats in double figures, as senior Keyontae Johnson grabbed his fourth double-double, including his second straight, with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Cam Carter and junior Ismael Massoud finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

The Cyclones got big nights from Kalscheur (23) and fellow senior Jaren Holmes (19), who combined for 42 points on 15-of-22 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range. Senior big man Osun Osunniyi added 16 points, while freshman guard Tamin Lipsey had a solid all-around night with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field, including an opponent-high 57.1 percent (28-of-49) by Iowa State, which finished with advantages in points off turnovers (25-13), points in the paint (34-28) and second-chance points (17-7). K-State was able to hit on 52.1 percent (25-of-48) of its field goals, including a season-best 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from 3-point range. The 76 points were the most allowed this season by the Cyclones, which ranks among the top-10 in 4 defensive categories nationally and tops in the Big 12 in scoring defense (58.6).

The loss spoiled the Wildcats’ debut as a Top 5 team, which is the highest in more than a decade since also ranking No. 5 on Dec. 6, 2010. K-State is still off to its best 20-game start in more than 60 years since the 1961-62 opened the year with an 18-2 record, while they are now tied with Iowa State and Texas atop the Big 12 at 6-2.

HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State enjoyed the early momentum, jumping out to a 14-10 lead behind the play of sophomore Cam Carter, who scored 9 of the Wildcats’ first 14 points, before the first media timeout at the 14:26 mark. However, Iowa State settled down after the timeout to score 9 in a row to take a 19-14 advantage and force head coach Jerome Tang to take his first timeout near the midway point of the first half.

The Wildcats responded out of the timeout with a 10-4 run to regain the lead at 24-23 with 5:51 remaining. Junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin, senior Tykei Greene and junior Ismael Massoud all contributed points in the run.

The two teams went back and forth over the next few minutes, exchanging the lead, before a layup by senior Markquis Nowell with 45 seconds to play gave K-State a 33-31 lead at the break.

After the teams traded the lead in the early moments of the second half, Iowa State grabbed the momentum with a 12-2 run to take a 49-42 advantage into the second media timeout at the 11:55 mark. The run grew to 15-2 after a 3-pointer by senior Gabe Kalscheur on the next possession, as the Cyclone lead grew to double figures.

Senior Keyontae Johnson’s layup in heavy traffic at the 10:40 mark ended a more than 7-minute field goal drought by the Wildcats and closed the gap to 52-46. However, the Cyclones once again responded to the push with 4 straight points to again lead by 10 points.

Trailing 59-49 with 8:12 to play, a 3-pointer by Nowell ignited a 10-1 run that pulled the Wildcats to within 60-59 with nearly 6 minutes remaining. However, senior Caleb Grill answered with his only field goal make of the night on an offensive rebound from freshman Tamin Lipsey to push the Cyclones back out at 63-59.

Five times down the stretch the Wildcats closed to within a possession, but the Cyclones seemed to have answer, including a big offensive rebound and layup by senior Osun Osunniyi with 1:37 to play, a jumper by senior Gabe Kalscheur with 45 seconds and a free throw by Osunniyi with 24 seconds.

Nowell gave K-State one last chance after being fouled on a 3-pointer and making all 3 free throws to pull to within 78-76 with 3 seconds remaining, but senior Jaren Holmes sealed it with 2 more free throws for the final margin.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Markquis Nowell scored a game-tying 23 points on 6-of-17 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 free throws to go with a game-high 9 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes. It was seventh 20-point game of the season, including his sixth in Big 12 play.

Senior Keyontae Johnson collected his fourth double-double of the season, including his second in a row, with 15 points on 6-of-12 field goals to go with a game-high 10 rebounds.

STAT OF THE GAME
25 – In game where K-State had just one turnover (14-13) than Iowa State, it was the Cyclones who took advantage of those miscues, outscoring the Wildcats, 25-13.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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