Iowa St. 74, No. 13 Oklahoma 66
Saturday, January 29th 2005, 6:58 pm
By: News On 6
AMES, Iowa (AP) _ Wayne Morgan's stoic demeanor disguised how he truly felt.
The Iowa State coach walked off the court as calmly as if he were going to the supermarket, but he was beaming inside after his team beat No. 13 Oklahoma 74-66 Saturday to break a six-game losing streak.
``I was elated for my guys. I was happy to see them play the way we knew that they could play,'' Morgan said. ``It wasn't like no emotion. That was me floating.''
Curtis Stinson scored 23 points and Iowa State relied exclusively on its short-range game to win for the first time in the Big 12 and end Oklahoma's 10-game winning streak.
Energized by a near-sellout crowd, Iowa State (9-8, 1-5 Big 12) looked nothing like the team that had practically sleepwalked through an overtime loss to Colorado in its previous home game. The Cyclones got the ball inside to center Jared Homan, scored consistently in transition and kept Oklahoma (16-3, 5-1) in check with a 2-3 zone.
``I think this game honestly was our best game in which everybody contributed,'' Homan said. ``We didn't have one guy come in the game that didn't contribute somehow, some way. That's a big factor for us. We've got a lot of guys out. We just need everybody to contribute in every way they can.''
Iowa State is down to a seven-player rotation and six of them scored at least seven points. Homan finished with 14, Will Blalock scored 11 to go with five assists and three steals, and freshman Rahshon Clark added 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Last in the league in 3-point shooting, Iowa State did not make a basket from outside 10 feet and outscored the Sooners 48-28 in the paint.
``We haven't been shooting 3s very well, so my guys said, `Coach, we've got to get a little closer,''' Morgan said with a smile.
Taj Gray led Oklahoma with 21 points and Lawrence McKenzie scored 15, all on five second-half 3-pointers. Kevin Bookout added 12 points and 12 rebounds but was limited to eight shots. He had been averaging 19.8 points in conference play.
``They packed it in, but we've seen it at Baylor and we've seen it at home versus Texas,'' Bookout said. ``We should have played better than that against a zone. It's not like it's our first time, but it looked like it today.''
Oklahoma had not lost since falling to No. 2 Duke 78-67 on Dec. 18 and was off to its best start in league play in 16 years. But the Sooners never recovered from a first-half stretch in which they missed 16 of 18 shots, and they were sloppy with the ball throughout, committing 18 turnovers.
``I've watched our team play 18 games this year and I've never seen our guards play like that,'' coach Kelvin Sampson said. ``It was really, really poor guard play. The thing about our turnovers was they led to layups and easy baskets. We just didn't play very well. That was a very disappointing performance.''
With OU putting up bricks, Iowa State went on a 19-4 run to open a 21-11 lead. The Cyclones were able to get in the open court and run, something they hadn't done recently, and it made a huge difference.
``I think our defense helped us,'' Morgan said. ``When we make them miss and get the rebound, it gives us an opportunity to get out and run, which is what we do best.''
Iowa State led 30-25 at halftime, then started the second half with a 13-3 run to go up 43-28. The Cyclones have been ineffective against zones, and Sampson finally abandoned his man-to-man defense with 16 minutes left.
That slowed the Cyclones temporarily, and McKenzie's 3-point shooting got the Sooners back in it. His fourth 3 cut the lead to 45-41, but Iowa State scored the next seven points to regain the momentum.
Another 3 by McKenzie drew the Sooners to 52-46, and Iowa State answered with another 7-0 run. That made it 59-46 with 5:56 to play and Oklahoma started fouling to make the Cyclones win it at the line.
They did, making just enough free throws _ 13 of 24 _ in the final 4:38 to hold on. Stinson was 5-for-8 at the line and made a layup after Homan kept the ball alive following Blalock's miss.