LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Monte Morris scored 20 points and No. 21 Iowa State took the lead for good in the final minute before holding off Indiana State 73-71 in the opening game of the AdvoCare Invitational at Disney World on Thursday.
Joe Thomas shrugged off a poor shooting performance to put the Cyclones ahead with a 3-pointer with 54 seconds remaining. Nazareth Mitrou-Long made one of two free throws with 7.6 seconds left, and Indiana State’s hope for an upset ended when Brenton Scott’s 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer.
Iowa State (4-0) advanced to the tournament semifinals, despite going 5 for 15 from the foul line over the final 10 minutes. The Cyclones trailed for most of the first half before using an 11-0 run to wipe out a nine-point deficit.
Morris, who also had nine rebounds, was joined in double figures by Mitrou-Long and Darrell Bowie with 13 apiece. Deonte Burton and Thomas, who missed eight of 10 shots from the field, each finished with 10.
Scott led Indiana State (2-2) with 20 points on 7 of 18 shooting, a pair of long 3-pointers that gave the Sycamores leads in the closing minutes. Laquarious Paige came off the bench to score a career-high 20, and reserve TJ Bell had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
This tournament provides the first real test of the young season for Iowa State, which won its first three games over Savannah State, Mount St. Mary’s and The Citadel by an average of 42 points. The Cyclones start five seniors, but Indiana State is an experienced team, too. The Sycamores hung tough, making a final push after falling behind 54-48, but didn’t have to enough to put the game away when they climbed back on top.
The Cyclones will meet either Stanford or Miami in the semifinals of the eight-team tournament on Friday. Indiana State falls into the loser’s bracket, where the Sycamores will face the loser of Thursday’s opening round matchup between Stanford and Miami.