No. 4 Iowa State beats No. 13 Iona behind 28 points from Georges Niang

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Georges Niang led five players in double-figures with 28 points as No. 4 Iowa State avoided No. 13 Iona’s upset bid with a 94-81 win.

The Cyclones jumped out to a double-digit lead just five minutes into the game and the Gaels never seriously threatened from there on out.

Iowa State will advance to take on the winner of No. 5 Purdue and No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock.

There wasn’t all that much to take out of this game for the Cyclones, but looking forward, there are two things that are positives moving forward:

  1. Monte’ Morris looks like he’s healthy. After laboring through parts of the Big 12 tournament, Morris looked like his old self on Thursday, finishing with 20 points and eight assists while controlling the game on the offensive end of the floor. When he’s at his best, he’s a difference maker for ISU.
  2. The Cyclones were able to throw it in cruise control for a good chunk of the second half. Remember, this is a team that plays, essentially, six dudes, which is a problem that gets magnified when playing at altitude in Denver. And when you play at altitude, it’s the second game that gets you more than the first game. So yes, being able to save their legs as much as possible matters for this team.