Cyclone men’s team knocks on the door, again

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If college basketball games were 39 minutes long, Iowa State  may have just won its 20th game of the season on Saturday.

Iowa State has led or been tied entering the final minute of play in six of its 10 losses. The Cyclones are 14-10 overall.

Instead, pre-season All-American Jacob Pullen made two clutch plays in the final minute to rally Kansas State (pre-season third-ranked team nationally) to an 86-85 victory.

Fred Hoiberg’s team continues to fight and play inspired basketball most nights, but late-game heroics by Big 12 peers have been hard to overcome.

The Wildcats’ bench hit 10-17 three pointers (.588). The players, who made them entered the game hitting 33% from long range and one of them hadn’t even attempt a shot from that distance this season.

Hoiberg said that his seven-man rotation – which includes two true freshmen and a walk-on – gave a full 40 minutes against K-State.

"If we keep doing that," Hoiberg said, "we got a chance for a few more wins."

ISU next four games are at Kansas (#2 last week), at Texas A&M (#16), home vs. Missouri (#14) and at Texas (#3).

The good news, Hoiberg said, is that his club has a week off before the trip to Lawrence giving it a chance to clean up a few things.

"I’m very proud of my guys," he said.

So are most fans. The Cyclones certainly deserve some good fortune.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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