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Iowa State Holds off Texas 85-76

Updated: Tuesday, February 18 2014, 10:58 PM CST
AMES, Iowa (AP) — With the NCAA tournament just about a month away, teams are going to lean on their stars more than ever.
Iowa State standouts Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang showed why the Cyclones could be in great shape come March.
Ejim scored 25 points, DeAndre Kane added 22 and Niang had 20 to help No. 17 Iowa State beat 19th-ranked Texas 85-76 on Tuesday night for its fifth victory in six games.
The trio shot 57 percent from the floor to lead the Cyclones (20-5, 8-5 Big 12), who became the third-fastest team to 20 wins in school history.
"It's obviously important that your key guys are playing well for you," Hoiberg said. "Even though those guys all scored over 20, I think it was a total team effort."
Iowa State outscored Texas 25-12 late in the second half to pull away and move within a game of the second-place Longhorns in the Big 12.
The Cyclones were keyed by Ejim, who had his second-best scoring game of the season, while Kane chipped in with five assists and zero turnovers and Niang helped keep Cameron Ridley without a field goal.
Isaiah Taylor had 26 points to lead the Longhorns (20-6, 9-4), who've followed up a seven-game winning streak by splitting their last four.
"They didn't do one thing that we didn't think they'd do. We weren't tough enough to guard it, stop it," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We didn't come in with a tough enough mindset to start the game."
But even though Texas shot just 33 percent from the floor, it still hit some big shots in the second half.
The Longhorns could barely miss from the line either.
Javan Felix hit a 3 to match a crowd-energizing one from Matt Thomas, and Connor Lammert did as well with Iowa State on the verge of going ahead by double digits with 8:08 left.
Texas also hit its first 16 free throws and 23 of 25 overall to hang close. But Jonathan Holmes finally missed with 6:26 left, and Niang's ensuing putback gave Iowa State a 75-65 lead.
Felix had 16 points, but he needed 22 shots to get there.
"Coach (Hoiberg) preaches poise and resolve. I think when they were hitting big shots we'd just come down and try and make a play again. I think that was huge. We ended up getting some stops to help get the lead up," Niang said.
Holmes and Ridley, who combined for 39 points and 18 rebounds in an 86-76 Texas win over Iowa State last month, teamed up for just 18 points and 14 rebounds on Tuesday.
Iowa State also outscored Texas 40-18 in the paint despite a 44-35 deficit on the boards.
"Even though they beat us on the glass, we got them when it was crucial. We got them at important times. There was a lot of toughness shown by our team," Ejim said.
The Cyclones had struggled of late on defense. They let up 102 points in a loss at West Virginia on Feb. 10 — and followed that up by blowing an 18-point home lead against Texas Tech.
Iowa State's first defensive stand against the Longhorns was a disaster.
It got better from there, though.
The Cyclones allowed four consecutive offensive rebounds by Texas to open play, and Kane went to the bench with a neck injury. But Kane returned in time to hit Iowa State's first basket, and the Cyclones soon took a lead it would hold for most of the half.
Monte Morris found Ejim for an alley-oop to help Iowa State push its lead to 36-27, and his reverse dunk from the baseline made it 43-33. But Texas, which shot a dreadful 10 of 37 from the floor in the first half, hit six of their next 10 to pull even at 48-all with just over 14 minutes to go.
The Longhorns didn't have an answer for Ejim though — and Kane and Niang also had their way with the Texas defense.
"It wasn't a real sweet talk at halftime. But I do think they came out and responded. Then, when we tied it at 48 in the second half, we weren't smart enough," Barnes said.Iowa State Holds off Texas 85-76


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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Saturday's Games

WEST REGION FINAL: Wisconsin 85, Arizona 78

MIDWEST REGION FINAL: Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66

Sunday's Games

EAST REGION FINAL: Louisville vs. Michigan St. at Syracuse, 2:20 p.m.

SOUTH REGION FINAL: Duke vs. Gonzaga at Houston, 5:05 p.m.

NBA

Saturday's Games

Charlotte 115, Atlanta 100

Chicago 111, New York 80

Golden State 108, Milwaukee 95

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Houston at Washington, 12:30 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at Brooklyn, 3:30 p.m.

Minnesota at New Orleans, 4 p.m.

Philadelphia at Cleveland, 4:30 p.m.

Detroit at Miami, 6 p.m.

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Memphis at San Antonio, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Indiana, 7 p.m.

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San Jose 3, Philadelphia 2, SO

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Washington at N.Y. Rangers, 3 p.m.

Florida at Ottawa, 5 p.m.

Detroit at N.Y. Islanders, 5 p.m.

Boston at Carolina, 5 p.m.

Calgary at Nashville, 5 p.m.

Anaheim at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Saturday's Games

ALBANY REGION: UConn 105, Texas 54

ALBANY REGION: Dayton 82, Louisville 66

SPOKANE REGION: Maryland 65, Duke 55

SPOKANE REGION: Tennessee 73, Gonzaga 69, OT

Sunday's Games

GREENSBORO REGION FINAL: South Carolina (33-2) vs. Florida State (32-4), noon

OKLAHOMA CITY REGION FINAL: Baylor (33-3) vs. Notre Dame (34-2), 8:30 p.m.

MLS

Saturday's Games

New England 2, San Jose 1

Montreal 2, Orlando City 2, tie

D.C. United 1, Los Angeles 0

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Vancouver 2, Portland 1

FC Dallas 0, Seattle 0, tie

Houston 0, Colorado 0, tie

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Philadelphia at Chicago, 5 p.m.

Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m.

MLB PRESEASON

Saturday's Games

Miami 1, Houston 1, tie

Minnesota 7, Philadelphia 1

Baltimore 10, N.Y. Yankees 2

Detroit 4, St. Louis 3

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Boston 9, Tampa Bay 6

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Cincinnati 9, Chicago Cubs (ss) 5

San Diego 3, Texas 2

Chicago Cubs (ss) 18, Colorado 4

L.A. Dodgers 5, L.A. Angels 4

Kansas City 10, Arizona 5

Sunday's Games

N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Baltimore (ss) at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. Washington at Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Detroit vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Baltimore (ss) vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 1:07 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

Seattle vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Milwaukee vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Texas vs. L.A. Dodgers (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (ss) vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Colorado vs. Arizona at Hermosillo, 4:10 p.m.

Arizona vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

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