Hilton Coliseum, even in a down year for the Iowa State Cyclones, is an incredibly tough place to win. So tough, in fact, that Oklahoma State hadn’t done it in eight years. Tonight, the Cowboys out of Ames with an 80-71 win.
Oklahoma State entered the game at 6-10, and needed an end-of-season sweep of Iowa State and Kansas, and probably a couple of Big 12 Tournament wins to claim a spot in March Madness. That would be impossible had they not taken care of step one: beating Iowa State.
For two Cowboys, Mitchell Solomon and Jeffrey Carroll, this was an especially important game. They came in with an opportunity to win in every Big 12 venue. The win makes them the first Cowboys to do so since 1954.
The Cyclones entered the game in dead last place in the Big 12 at 4-13. They’ve battled injuries and are a very young team, but still have proven to be a tough out at home. The Cowboys opened up the game with a noticeable energy and shot the ball well. They traded baskets with Iowa State for a large chunk of the first half, but went on a 10-0 run to extend its lead to 33-21 at one point. That lead wouldn’t hold up though. The Cowboys led by just five at the half.
After the half, Oklahoma State came out with a noticeable sense of urgency. They quickly extended the lead, swelling to as much as 16 in the second half. For the most part, the Pokes were able to coast to the finish line, eventually wrapping up the 80-71 win.
Tonight was the first game back for Cyclone senior, Donovan Jackson, whose father passed away last week. On his senior night, Jackson was tremendous. He ended the game with 17 points. True freshman Lindell Wigginton dropped 20 as well, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the great effort from Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State was led in scoring by Jeffrey Carroll who poured in 21, and inserted the proverbial dagger into Iowa State with this luscious three.
Cam McGriff had a fantastic game as well, dropping 19 points and pulling down five boards. Mitchell Solomon tallied a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, including a late offensive rebound that sealed it for the Cowboys.
Solomon was a menace on the glass, and led the team on a night where they absolutely dominated. The Cowboys won the rebound battle 47-37, and at times, it felt like they completely smothered Iowa State on the glass.
Tweets of the Night:
#okstate gets the job done in Ames with a win to move to 17-13. Kansas at GIA Saturday. It's going to REALLY hard to leave a team who swept a potential 1-seed out of the NCAA.— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) February 28, 2018
I will NOT be quiet Jeffrey Carroll. I will cheer loudly for your shot. #okstate— Katie (@iamnotkathy) February 28, 2018