Iowa State scored 98 points to defeat Oklahoma State Monday night. There seemed to be that many storylines, too, in a Cyclone victory that helped wipe away 18 consecutive games of frustration in Stillwater.
Fred Hoiberg started naming players that had major contributions to ISU’s most significant road win of the year. It was like he was reading the roster, listing player after player. Hoiberg, in fact, did pay tribute to the entire group.
“I thought 1-through-12, on this road trip, did their job,” Hoiberg said. “Naz (Long), though, is the guy that stands out to me. He stepped up with great confidence and knocked one (which sent the game into the final OT) down.”
Georges Niang was terrific with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks before fouling out.
Once Niang retired to the bench, Melvin Ejim (22 points, 13 boards), Dustin Hogue (10-13) and DeAndre Kane (26 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists) held things together. Each finished the game with 4 personal fouls.
Although the Cyclone galaxy was full of stars, Kane stood tallest. In a match-up between two of the most productive guards in college basketball, Kane and Marcus Smart battled all night.
“He wanted this one,” Hoiberg said. “DeAndre won’t back down from anybody. To play like that, on the road, it was probably his best game.”
It wasn’t just Kane’s best game.
When you consider the difficulty of winning in Gallagher-Iba Arena, a 26-year losing streak at Stillwater and playing with serious foul trouble for the 15 minutes of OT, it may have been the Cyclones’ best game, too.