STILLWATER, Oklahoma – Iowa State (11-2, 1-0 Big 12) put up a strong defensive effort to begin Big 12 play with a win, defeating Oklahoma State (6-7, 0-1 Big 12) 69-63 Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cyclones have now won three-straight heading into Saturday’s showdown against No. 5 Kansas at Hilton Coliseum.
The win was guided off the bench by Lindell Wiggington, who notched 17 points, including a game-clinching 3-pointer with 1:18 to go. Also posting 17 was Marial Shayok, with 11 of his coming in the first half. Those two were joined in double figures by Nick Weiler-Babb (15) and Tyrese Haliburton (12).
In what was an even contest, the Cyclones were able to find a couple of ways to stand out and make a difference. One way was in transition, as Iowa State dominated fast-break points, 21-3. The visitors also did well sharing the rock, getting 15 assists on 20 made field goals.
How It Happened
OSU got ahead early at 6-5, but the Cyclones responded with a 13-0 run featuring a pair of Tyrese Haliburton 3-pointers and capped by a Marial Shayok trey. Lindell Wigginton’s free throw made it 35-27 with 2:36 to go in the half, but that was the last score for the Cyclones in the first 20 minutes. The Cowboys closed the first on a 9-0 run, capped off by Thomas Dziagwa’s 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to give the home team a 36-35 halftime lead.
Nick Weiler-Babb’s pair of 3-pointers in the first 2:30 of the second half pushed the visitors back ahead. Both offenses stagnated, as the Cowboys grinded back ahead by three at 46-43, but the Cyclones countered with an 10-0 run guided by Haliburton’s consecutive 3-pointers to put the Cyclones back ahead 53-46.
The Cyclone defense was crucial to helping the Cyclones manage their lead and bring home the win, as ISU held Oklahoma State to 27 points, which included holding the Cowboys to 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) shooting from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes. Despite playing from behind, OSU’s last made 3-pointer came with 15:44 to go in the second period.
The Cyclones’ 3-point shooting came up clutch, as Wigginton’s dagger 3-pointer with 1:18 to go to put the Cyclones ahead by six at 64-58. From there, ISU iced the game at the line, going 5-of-6 at the charity stripe in the final 40 seconds of the game.
Players of Note
Lindell Wigginton came off the bench again and was crucial to the Cyclones keeping together in the first half. Wigginton finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the first half. He went 8-of-11 from the free throw line and also added in a team-high eight rebounds.
Nick Weiler-Babb was crucial to getting ISU going in the second half, with his back-to-back treys being ISU’s first points of a slow-starting second half. For the game, the senior had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Weiler-Babb became the 12th player in Iowa State history to reach at least 500 points, 300 rebounds and 250 assists in his career during Wednesday’s contest.
Iowa State returns to Hilton Coliseum on Saturday to host No. 5 Kansas. Tip between the Cyclones and Jayhawks will be at 4 p.m.