KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No. 13 Iowa State escaped with a 67-65 victory over No. 15 Oklahoma in the second semifinal of the Big 12 Championship Friday at Sprint Center.
Iowa State (24-8) will face Kansas in the title game Saturday. Kansas defeated Baylor 62-52 earlier Friday.
Iowa State was led by forward Georges Niang with 13 points. Forward Jameel McKay added 12, guard Monte Morris 11 and guard Bryce Dejean-Jones had 10.
Guard Buddy Hield’s 16 points led Oklahoma, with guard Isaiah Cousins (14), guard Jordan Woodard (13) and forward TaShawn Thomas (13) joining him in double figures.
Iowa State used a 9-0 run early in the second half to assume control of the game, but the Cyclones couldn’t shake Oklahoma. The Sooners tied it at 52-52 on a drive by guard Buddy Hield.
The teams traded haymakers in the final five minutes. Back-to-back 3-pointers keyed an 8-0 Iowa State run, but Cousins hit his fourth 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 62-61.
McKay slammed home a miss to give Iowa State a 64-61 lead, and Niang’s fade-away gave the Cyclones a five-point lead. Forward Ryan Spangler’s reverse layup cut the lead to 66-63.
Thomas rebounded Hield’s 3-point attempt and put it in with 12.6 seconds left. Niang made one of two free throws with 9.7 seconds left. Oklahoma had a couple of chances to tie the score in the waning seconds but couldn’t get the ball to fall.
Oklahoma used the long ball to open up a big lead early. Five of the Sooners’ first six field goals were from 3-point range, including three from guard Isaiah Cousins, and they led 17-6 before the game was nine minutes old. But after trading a couple of buckets, the Cyclones went on their own run. Reserve forward Abdel Nader had seven points in a 9-4 run.
Guard Naz Long helped Iowa State make up the final difference with a 3-pointer to tie the score at 27-27 with just over a minute left before halftime. He then added a steal and a layup to give the Cyclones their first lead of the game.
Hield made two free throws to knot the game at 29-29 at the half.
Cousins led the Sooners with nine first-half points. Hield and Woodard pitched in seven apiece. Iowa State was led by Nader with seven points, and Long with five.
NOTES: In their earlier meetings this season, Oklahoma and Iowa State both took big first-half leads on the road, only to see those leads erased in the second half. Iowa State led Oklahoma by 10 points in the first half in Norman, Okla., Feb. 9, but lost 94-83. The Sooners led by 21 early in the second half in Ames, Iowa, but lost 77-70. … The Sooners own the second-best record in Big 12 tournament play at 21-15 (.583) coming into Friday’s action. They won the title three straight times between 2001 and 2003. … Iowa State is the only team in the country to have six players averaging in double figures in scoring.
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