Cyclones collapse late against Kansas State

Plain and simple, Iowa State had Saturday’s game against Kansas State in its grasp.

The Cyclones held a five-point lead with two-and-a-half minutes to play. They had the ball, up three points, with 50 seconds remaining.

But a long scoring drought and several mistakes in the final minute cost Iowa State the game as Kansas State won, 58-57.

“That’s a brutal loss,” said Iowa State coach Steve Prohm. “Credit Kansas State for being who we thought they were, just a resilient group, a group that just keeps coming at you.

“We got them down and we couldn’t finish them. Now we’ve gotta go found out something about ourselves this week.”

Iowa State fell behind big in the first half, but came roaring back thanks to a 14-3 run to tie the game at 40.


Iowa State senior Nick Weiler-Babb plays defense during the first half against Kansas on Saturday. The Cyclones won, 77-60.

It seemed like the Cyclones — after a harsh first half that saw Kansas State take a nine-point lead into halftime — had finally rallied. The crowd was fiery, raining down boos after whistles from the officials. Freshman forward George Conditt IV, who had played a total of one minute in Big 12 play entering Saturday, took over the game with nine points (4-of-4 shooting), four rebounds and two blocks.

The second half was all Iowa State. Until it wasn’t.

“We kinda put our heads down, we let it get to us,” said redshirt senior guard Nick Weiler-Babb, who led the Cyclones with 11 points. “We’ve gotta be tough. We’ve gotta give better effort.”

Iowa State led 55-48 with 5:00 left in the game. From there on out, the Cyclones went 1-for-5 from the floor, 0-for-2 from the free throw line and had one turnover.

The stretch that ended the game will haunt Iowa State’s coaching staff and players for a while.

Weiler-Babb missed a 3-pointer with 41 seconds to play. Lindell Wigginton blocked a Kansas State shot, but the Wildcats stuck with it and senior guard Barry Brown Jr. drew a foul with 16 seconds to play.

After Brown Jr. knocked down both free throws, the Cyclones inbounded the ball to Wigginton, who was fouled and sent to the line for a 1-and-1.

Wigginton missed the front-end. Kansas State raced down the floor, set a screen at the top of the key for Brown Jr. and let him go to work. He laid in the winning bucket with 5.6 seconds to go.


Iowa State sophomore Lindell Wigginton makes a move toward the basket during the second half of their 77-60 win over Kansas.

Wigginton launched a shot from halfcourt to win the game but it fell short. In the span of a minute, a likely win evaporated and Kansas State walked out victorious against all odds.

Benching Conditt IV; Prohm doesn’t call timeout

Prohm removed Conditt IV in favor of redshirt junior forward Michael Jacobson at the 2:03 mark of the second half with the Cyclones clinging to a lead.

Conditt IV finished with more points, rebounds and blocks than Jacobson, but Jacobson has more experience and, in a free throw shooting affair, Jacobson would be the more trusted player.

“He played great,” Prohm said of Conditt IV. “He was terrific for us.

“He’s played well all season. I went offense for defense there, and I probably should’ve just stayed true to defense right there. George, what he does is he helps protect the rim … you can’t second guess it now. That’s what I did.”

Even after Kansas State hit the go-ahead bucket with 5.6 seconds to go, Iowa State still had one more chance to win. The Cyclones did not call timeout, electing to play out the final stretch.

Prohm seemed to signal for Wigginton, who was dribbling toward midcourt, to take the timeout as the clock dwindled.

Prohm said he saw the play wasn’t unfolding as he hoped. The Cyclones did not call for a timeout and Wigginton’s shot missed.

Prohm said he would normally consider calling for a timeout after the basket but elected to play it out against Kansas State, which is known for its defensive prowess.

“Not against them,” Prohm said. “Against certain teams maybe, but not against them and how good they are defensively.”

Source: Iowa State Daily