No. 17 Iowa State 81, Kansas State 75: Melvin Ejim scored 18 of his team-high 20 points in the second half, including four free throws in the final 24 seconds to clinch it, as the host Cyclones snapped a three-game losing streak with the Big 12 win.
Georges Niang had 18 points, Matt Thomas finished with a career-high 14 points and DeAndre Kane added 10 points and five assists for Iowa State (15-3, 3-3 Big 12). Dustin Hogue grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with eight points for the Cyclones, who improved to 10-1 at Hilton Coliseum.
Freshman guard Marcus Foster had 20 points to lead Kansas State (14-6, 4-3), which lost for just the third time in 35 games when outrebounding an opponent under head coach Bruce Weber. Shane Southwell finished with 14 points and Will Spradling added 12 points on 4-of-6 3-point shooting.
Kansas State started quickly and led 13-7 after a Southwell 3-pointer. But Iowa State, fueled by a trio of 3-pointers by Thomas in just over a three-minute span, went on a 23-9 run to go ahead 30-22 en route to a 46-34 halftime lead, the most points surrendered in a first half this season by the Wildcats.
But Iowa State, which shot a blistering 61.5 percent in the first half, made just one of its first eight shots out of the break to go along with three turnovers as Kansas State rallied to tie it, 50-50, on a Southwell 3-pointer. Niang’s 3-pointer with 4:36 to go fueled a late 6-0 run to put the Cyclones up 72-66, and Iowa State never trailed the rest of the way.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Wildcats F Thomas Gipson, coming off back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career – including a career best-tying 24 points at Texas – finished with four points and didn’t score until the 18:45 mark of the second half. … Thomas, who had scored eight points in his previous four games combined, had nine points in the first 12 minutes. … Iowa State finished 9-of-18 from 3-point range.