MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State used a 38-2 advantage in bench scoring to defeat No. 15 Iowa State 80-73 on Saturday and forge a four-way tie for second place in the Big 12 Conference.
K-State’s win enabled Kansas to win the conference title. K-State is tied with Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas but holds tiebreakers for the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Kansas State (20-9, 10-6), the worst free-throw shooting team in the conference, hit 23 of 29 from the line Saturday.
The Wildcats were led by guard Shane Southwell’s 13 points. Forwards Thomas Gipson and D.J. Johnson added 12 each and forward Wesley Iwundu and guard Marcus Foster each had 11.
The Wildcats defeated their fifth straight ranked opponent at home.
Forward Melvin Ejim scored 30 points for Iowa State (22-6, 10-6), and guard DeAndre Kane added 24.
Kansas State was able to withstand big-time foul trouble. The Wildcats had four players, including three starters, pick up two fouls in the first half. Leading scorer Foster picked up his third and took his two points to the bench with 17:51 left in the second half. Will Spradling picked up his third three minutes later.
Ejim picked up three fouls in the second half, including a technical, and had to take his 27 points to the bench with four fouls with 7:55 remaining and the Cyclones clinging to a 62-60 lead.
The Wildcats scored the next five points, but Iowa State tied it at the 2:00 mark when guard Monte Morris hit a 3-point shot. The Wildcats scored the next seven points, including four free throws, to clinch the game.
Foster picked up his fourth foul with 4:19 remaining. Spradling picked up his fourth 36 seconds later.
Kansas State used a 16-0 run early in the first half to turn a five-point deficit into a 20-9 lead. Southwell had three 3-pointers in the run.
Iowa State gradually chipped away at the lead, cutting it to 37-34 before Johnson scored the final points of the half.
Southwell finished the first half with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.
Ejim and Kane kept Iowa State in the game, each scoring 14 points in the first half.
The Cyclones held an 8-4 edge at the free-throw line, which made up for 2-of-12 shooting from long range.
NOTES: Kansas State concluded its 67th straight winning season at home, the longest streak in the NCAA. The Wildcats are 15-1 at home with one game to play. … Fred Hoiberg is tied with Larry Eustachy with 84 victories in his first four years as Iowa State coach. … F Melvin Ejim (18.8), F Georges Niang (17.5) and G DeAndre Kane (17.4) of Iowa State came into the game averaging at least 17 points per game in conference play. No Big 12 team has ever had three players average at least 17 points in league games in the same season.
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