Thursday’s basketball: Iowa State rally stuns Iowa

Detroit News staff and wires

Ames, Iowa — There isn’t a team in the country that’s better at big comebacks than Iowa State.

The fourth-ranked Cyclones pulled off another stunner on Thursday, beating back the rival Hawkeyes with a furious late surge.

Monte Morris hit a runner with nine seconds left and Iowa State rallied from a 20-point deficit to down Iowa 83-82 on Thursday night.

Morris and Jameel McKay each had 20 points for the Cyclones (8-0), who scored the game’s final nine points to remain unbeaten.

But rallies like that are nothing new for these Cyclones, who roared back from 21 down to stun Oklahoma and 17 down to beat Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament title game last March.

“As long as there is time on the clock, we always have a chance to win,” McKay said.

It took a huge spurt just to get the Cyclones in position to steal another one.

A 30-11 run brought Iowa State within 82-81 with 51 seconds left. Morris then drove the lane and floated in the go-ahead shot, which the Cyclones made stand with one final defensive stop.

Jarrod Uthoff scored 30 of his 32 points in the first half for Iowa (7-3), which has lost seven straight in Ames.

“We couldn’t get stops,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “They did a really good job capitalizing on our mistakes.”

This was Iowa State’s first major test in a season that promises to be full of them.

But the Cyclones couldn’t find anyone early on who could slow down Uthoff.

They won anyway.

Uthoff, fresh off scoring a career-high 27 points on Monday, had 20 points in the first 12 minutes — hitting his first eight shots to help Iowa take a 37-19 lead.

Peter Jok then opened the second half with four straight 3-pointers to help put Iowa back on top 62-42.

The Cyclones finally figured out how to slow Uthoff down in the second half, and that blistering late run got them within a point.

Matt Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left to make it 82-79. Georges Niang then hit a pair of free throws, and Morris capped the comeback with a shot that Cyclones fans won’t soon forget.

“That’s ‘Big Game Tay,’” McKay said, referencing Morris’ nickname. “We all wanted him to take the shot. As long as he was taking it, it was going in. He’s that confident of a dude.”

Jok had 18 points for Iowa. Thomas scored 19 for the Cyclones, and Niang had 16.

More Big Ten

(At) Penn State 81, Canisius 67: Brandon Taylor scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half. Taylor went 6 for 6 from the free-throw line in the final minute to pad Penn State’s lead in a game the Nittany Lions never trailed.

Julian Moore scored 14 points and Payton Banks and Shep Garner each added 11 points for Penn State (6-3) to help secure the Nittany Lions’ first win at Rec Hall since 1996.

Phil Valenti led Canisius (3-5) with 24 points, scoring 18 in the second half.

State women

Eastern Michigan 78, (at) Monmouth 68: Phillis Webb had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Janay Morton added nine, including the 1,000th point of her career for Eastern (6-2).