“Saturday sweep” for Cyclones makes for great weekend

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The "Saturday Sweep" for the Iowa State men’s and women’s basketball teams was important for both clubs but for different reasons.

Fred Hoiberg’s team entered its game against Nebraska with the chips stacked against it. The Huskers were desperate for a win to add to its NCAA Tournament resume. The Cyclones simply needed a win. The return of Jamie Vanderbeken provided hope.

"We are different team with Jamie in the lineup," Hoiberg said. "He spaces the floor and brings his defender away from the basket."

Vanderbeken sparked the Cyclones’ second conference win of the season with his first "double double".  His five points to open overtime raised spirits after a Lance Jeter three pointer sent the game into OT. You wondered if "it" (a late-game, gut-wrenching loss) would happen again.

But Vanderbeken and fellow senior Diante Garrett (17 points and nine assists) steadied things as the Cyclones "found a way to win" for the first time in a month.

Meanwhile, Bill Fennelly’s team secured a critical road win in Manhattan Saturday night. The Cyclone coach said a week ago that the Big 12 race had three teams at the top – Baylor, Texas A&M and Oklahoma – and a logjam (including the Cyclones) fighting for fourth.

After sweeping Texas and Kansas State last week, Fennelly’s team has climbed to a tie for fourth (with K-State) in the Big 12 with a week left. His club has the tie-breaker with K-State by virtue of its first sweep of the Wildcats since 2007.

The wins had different impacts on the respective programs, but it sure made for a great weekend.

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

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