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Iowa State loses to Kansas, but don’t disregard their three-point shooting

Feb 26, 2013, 12:16 AM EDT

Georges Niang, Jamari Traylor AP

You won’t find many nights where the regulation, three-point shooting performance of Iowa State will be outdone.

On Monday night in a 108-96 overtime loss at home to no. 6 Kansas, the Cyclones hit a ton of shots from beyond the arc. Six different players who hit a three. Five hit at least two. Georges Niang, who on the season is 37-percent from three, hit three himself, his only field goals of the game. Tyrus McGee, the Cyclones resident gunner, hit 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Point-and-case: Korie Lucious tried to throw a lob to Melvin Ejim, and instead, that lob went in for a three. It was that kind of night, for the first 40 minutes. They were 17-of-41 (41.5 percent) overall from deep. And that was after they went 0-for-6 from three in overtime. So, with the possibility of a questionable call in the Niang/Jeff Withey scramble late, this team finishes with some moreimpressive numbers from three-point range than they appear, considering the volume at which they threw them up.

They did everything a great shooting team should do to win, offensively. That can happen when you’re playing an elite team. One that’s a national title contender like Kansas.

However, they failed to stop Elijah Johnson, a player that averages 9.1 points per game, from scoring 39 — 37 if you discount the end-of-game dunk that got a ton of people riled up. They also got a 3-for-17 night from the normally-reliable Niang, a freshman who has surpassed expectations and on the season has hit 53.1-percent of his shots. They allowed the same weapon they use to beat a ton of teams, to beat them, with the Jayhawks hitting 13-of-25 three pointers.

The Cyclones were also out-rebounded by 10, including Withey’s double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.

With that said, there aren’t a lot teams in a field of 68 that can hang with them when they shoot like they they did Monday night from three. Especially when they only commit seven turnovers and hit 29-of-34 free throws.

On the season, three players, McGee, Lucious and Chris Babb, have hit at least 50 threes. Will Clyburn has hit 31. They’ve got the shooters and they’ve got the consistency. Five players make at least 35-percent from three. It’s not overly-impressive, individually, but as a collective, it’s solid.

They won’t face a better team than Kansas this season until they get to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, at best. Unless they take on Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament.

The Jayhawks took the best the Cyclones had and still won in overtime. That happens when you’re playing one of the elite teams in college basketball.

But a night like that against most teams, especially in the postseason? That’s a win. Easy. And as long as the Cyclones are primed for at least an at-large bid (they might need another good win to seal it), their fans should still be confident this team can do a lot of damage in March.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

  1. allstar81 - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Iowa was robbed. KS fooled the refs by letting Young (?) take the rap for an obvious foul by Withey. Can’t believe it only took a simple raise of his hand. Then..How does an official NOT call a foul OR a charge on obvious contact under the goal with 5 seconds left in a crucial game? They should have made a decision. You can’t let the players decide. In my opinion, it was a clear charge. So, if Withey would have correctly fouled out in regulation, and a charge would have correctly been called on KS with 5 seconds left, Iowa would have won the game. But, if “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. A “W” is still a “W” for KS, and that’s all that matters. There are bad calls in every game. This one is just frustrating because Iowa had worked so hard to have the win stripped by bad officiating in the end. Both teams played great and it was a fun game to watch.

    • chumthumper - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Even as a KU fan, I agree the refs blew the call; it was a charge…and they didn’t immediatley call it.

    • gerryb323 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      I complain every game about the charge being called way too often.

      My wife is a KU grad, leading to some KU cheering myself.

      Johnson was out of control and should have been called for a charge.

      That was far from the only bad call during the game though…the refs were terrible all game, starting with the T on Self less than 2 minutes into the game. A goaltending call that went against KU. Withey getting 7 fouls! A “travel” on Withey. I would expect some kind of reprimand for this officiating crew after that debacle…

      Side note, apparently an ISU fan ran on the court and grabbed Self after the game before security was able to pry him away! Kiss those season tickets goodbye!

      • allstar81 - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        I saw some chubby guy throw something on the court and start running out of the stands before espn finally broke away to sportscenter. I thought there was something going on!
        I agree, it was a badly officiated game. I think the conference should get involved and take a look at this one. No hard feelings against KU as they played great (especially Johnson in the 2nd half), just heart-wrenching loss for Iowa. (and I’m a KY fan…)

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