AMES, Iowa (AP) Matt Thomas scored 20 points and Georges Niang added 17 to help 17th-ranked Iowa State beat Kansas State 80-61 on Saturday night, clinching its fifth straight 20-win season.
Jameel McKay scored 14 points with 17 rebounds off the bench for the notoriously-thin Cyclones (20-9, 9-7 Big 12), who got 24 points from their reserves.
Iowa State strung together 13-0 runs in each half, which proved to be the difference. The Wildcats pulled as close as 65-59 before backup Hallice Cooke’s 3 with just under four minutes left swung momentum back in favor of the Cyclones.
D.J. Johnson had 22 with nine boards for Kansas State (15-14, 4-12), which shot just 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
Iowa State’s dream of a share of the Big 12 title ended last weekend when Kansas secured its 12th league win.
But the Cyclones are still hoping they have a big run left in them.
Beating K-State was a necessary start.
Iowa State shook off a sluggish first few minutes with a 13-0 run to jump ahead 21-14. Still, it took a 3 from Monte Morris to give the Cyclones a 31-30 lead at the break.
Two consecutive 3s from Thomas in the left corner put Iowa State ahead 45-39. Cooke, who has mostly struggled in his first season with the Cyclones, then drilled one from that exact spot to make it 48-39.
Deonte Burton’s first basket, an emphatic one-handed dunk, pushed Iowa State’s lead to 60-45. K-State answered with seven straight and Niang was forced to the bench with his fourth foul with 7:27 left. But McKay followed Cooke’s huge 3 with a dunk as the Cyclones pulled away.
Cooke finished with 10 points after being held scoreless for four straight games.
Iowa State: Niang started for the 120th time Saturday. … All five Cyclones starters entered play averaging at least 10 points and four boards a game. … Thomas completed a rare four-point play to give Iowa State its first lead, 17-14. He later moved into seventh place in school history on made 3s.
Kansas State: The Wildcats played their 13th ranked team this season, surpassing the school record of 12 set in 2010-11 and 2014-15. … K-State forced 13 turnovers against one of the best teams in the Big 12 at securing the ball.
The Cyclones close out their home schedule Monday night against Oklahoma State.
Kansas State hosts TCU on Wednesday.
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