No. 2 seed Iowa State uses big runs to start each half and bury South Dakota State, 82-65

Thu, Mar 21, 2024

No. 2 seed Iowa State uses big runs to start each half and bury South Dakota State, 82-65

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Milan Momcilovic looked nothing like a freshman while pouring in 19 points, Tamin Lipsey had 17 with seven assists, and No. 2 Iowa State used big runs to start each half to beat No. 15 seed South Dakota State 82-65 on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament.

Keshon Gilbert had 15 points and Hason Ward dunked his way to 10, helping the Cyclones (28-7) avenge an embarrassing first-round loss to Pittsburgh a year ago. They advanced to a second-round matchup with seventh-seeded Washington State or No. 10 seed Drake.

South Dakota State (22-13) showed plenty of gumption after allowing Iowa State to race to a 17-3 lead to start the game, cutting the deficit in half by the break. But the Cyclones blitzed the Jackrabbits to start the second half, too, going on a 14-5 run to pull away.

Zeke Mayo hit four 3s and had 19 points for South Dakota State, which has never won an NCAA tourney game in seven tries. William Kyle III added 14 points and Charlie Easley finished with 11.

At game's end, Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger and his counterpart. Eric Henderson, shared a high-five and a hug. Otzelberger got his college head-coaching start at South Dakota State in 2016 and hired Henderson to be his top assistant.

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The Cyclones were coming off a blowout of then-No. 1 Houston in the most lopsided Big 12 title game ever, and it looked as if Gilbert - the tourney MVP - and the rest of his defensive-minded teammates picked up where they left off. While running out to their big lead, they shut down the Jackrabbits and got alley-oop dunks from Ward on three straight trips down the floor, each from a different teammate.

The Jackrabbits eventually bounced back, getting their own highlight dunk in the process: Matt Mims, the lone player left from Otzelberger's days at South Dakota State, heaved a pass from the midcourt line that Kyle threw down to an audible gasp from the crowd.

When Mayo scored just before halftime, the Summit League champs were within 40-33 with momentum on their side.

But the bigger, deeper and much faster Cyclones did exactly what they did to start the game, putting together another run out of the locker room to rebuild their cushion. And this time, they never let off the gas, keeping the Jackrabbits at bay the rest of the way.

Ward even threw down a fourth alley-oop dunk to put an exclamation mark on the win.


Iowa State is quite familiar with Drake, which is located about 35 miles south of its campus in Des Moines. The Cyclones and Bulldogs first played in 1908, and have met 175 times over the years, though their once-regular series ended with an Iowa State victory in 2018.

The Cyclones are a whole lot less familiar with Washington State. They have never met in men's basketball.


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