Senior Matt Thomas scored 25 points and No. 24 Iowa State held off a furious challenge from Oklahoma State on Tuesday night, winning 86-83 to close out its home schedule with its sixth straight win.
Monte Morris added 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Cyclones (20-9, 12-5 Big 12), who clinched their sixth consecutive 20-win season and swept the Cowboys for the fourth straight year.
Evans scored 29 points and Leyton Hammonds had 19 to lead Oklahoma State (20-10, 9-8), which lost for just the second time in 12 games.
Morris forced a turnover under his own basket with 7.7 seconds left and Oklahoma State looking for a game-tying 3 -- and Thomas hit an easy layup off Morris' inbounds pass. Oklahoma State's Juwan Evans then hit a 3, but Donovan Jackson hit a free throw and Evans couldn't get a desperation heave off before the buzzer.
Evans made Iowa State sweat it out though. He was fouled from 3-point range with 13.8 seconds to go and the Cowboys down four. Evans hit all three from the line, but Naz Mitrou-Long answered with two free throws to make it 83-80 5 seconds later.
Seniors Deonte Burton and Mitrou-Long had 20 points and 17 points, respectively, for Iowa State. The Cyclones once again overcame a huge disparity on the boards, this time 40-27, by shooting 15 of 31 from 3-point range
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys will be a fascinating case study for the NCAA Tournament committee despite the loss. Beating top-ranked Kansas on Saturday would help convince the committee that the Cowboys' closing stretch was much more of an indicator of future success than their rough start to league play.
Iowa State: This night was about honoring one of the best senior classes the Cyclones have ever had. Morris, Mitrou-Long, Thomas and Burton did more than just build a bridge between the Fred Hoiberg and Steve Prohm eras. Those four players kept Iowa State relevant nationally, which should help Prohm as he works to maintain that level in the years to come. Iowa State will have to rebuild in 2017-18. But with four top-100 recruits eligible as freshmen next season, the Cyclones have to be optimistic about their future.
A win at West Virginia on Friday could push Iowa State into the Top 20 -- and, more importantly, give it yet another marquee road win.
Iowa State closes out the regular season at No. 10 West Virginia on Saturday.
Oklahoma hosts the top-ranked Jayhawks on Saturday.
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