Iowa St. tops No. 13 Oklahoma St.

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 06, 2013
Senior Will Clyburn scored 20 points and Iowa State beat No. 13 Oklahoma State 87-76 on Wednesday night to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes. Georges Niang added 18 points for the Cyclones (20-10, 10-7 Big 12), who notched just their second victory over a ranked opponent. Oklahoma State trailed by as many as 15 points, but Marcus Smart's reverse dunk made it 70-68 with 4:28 left. Clyburn answered with a 3 and Tyrus McGee's 3 a minute later put the Cyclones ahead 78-68. Smart was brilliant for Oklahoma State (22-7, 12-5), scoring 24 points with eight rebounds and five steals. But it wasn't enough as the Cowboys lost for just the second time in 12 games. Oklahoma State's last three wins were by an average of double digits and the Cowboys were rolling ahead of a key final league week against the Cyclones and No. 9 Kansas State. There were only glimpses on Wednesday of the team that's spent the last six weeks plowing through the Big 12. The Cowboys got within 67-64 after two steals by Smart led to two baskets. Smart made it a two-point game with his reverse in transition, but Clyburn's response gave the Cyclones the school record for 3s in a season. Reserve senior Anthony Booker followed by drawing a crucial charge, which Korie Lucious converted into a tough layup. Le'Bryan Nash and Markel Brown both had 14 points for the Cowboys, who shot an abysmal 4 of 23 from 3-point range. Oklahoma State was just one of four teams to rally from behind and beat Iowa State in the final minute this season. The Cyclones did their best to ensure they wouldn't be in such a position again. Iowa State, which blew a lead in the final minute and lost on Smart's buzzer-beater on Jan. 30, started the game on a 30-15 run. Niang buoyed the early spurt with 12 points, and Iowa State held the Cowboys scoreless on nine tries from 3-point range in building a 10-point halftime lead. Niang swatted away an alley-oop pass before it got anywhere near the rim to open the second half. Clyburn followed with a transition 3, and Iowa State was off and running again. McGee finished with 14 points and Melvin Ejim had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Cyclones. The Cyclones, who are 16-1 at home, finish the regular season on the road against West Virginia on Saturday. Though Iowa State is in much better shape for the postseason after beating the Cowboys, it might need to beat the Mountaineers to ensure they don't have another home game this season -- in the NIT. The loss shouldn't impact Oklahoma State's postseason outlook all that much. The Cowboys faced an uphill climb in moving past Kansas and Kansas State in the Big 12 standings anyway, and they will get another chance at a marquee win against K-State on Saturday.
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