IOWA CITY - Bill Schwarz is a firm believer in the #x201c;power of the pack.#x201d;
The Cedar Rapids Prairie boys' cross country coach knows, in the absence of a front-runner, the success of his team typically relies on essential contributi ... »
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MILWAUKEE — The Iowa State men’s basketball team knocked on the door of its third Sweet 16 in four years.
Its comeback against Purdue ultimately fell just short.
The No. 4 seed Boilermakers beat the No. 5 seed Cyclones 80-76 on Saturday night to advance to the Sweet 16. Iowa State (24-11) senior Deonte Burton had 25 points while Monte Morris chipped in 18. Matt Thomas had 20.
Purdue ran out to a 13-point lead in the first half and after back-to-back dunks out of timeouts, the Boilermakers grew their lead to 58-39 with more than 14 minutes to go. That’s when Iowa State’s offense woke up.
Iowa State used a 23-9 run, which included 3-pointers from Naz Mitrou-Long, Morris and Donovan Jackson in a span of 6:42 to make it a five-point game with less than seven minutes to go. The Cyclones made 7-of-8 shots to climb back in.
Iowa State struggled mightily to get quality looks throughout the first half. Purdue was able to stretch its size out to the perimeter and shot 56.7 percent from the field.
The Boilermakers got 11 points from 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas and eight from Caleb Swanigan while the Cyclones struggled to fix their broken jump shooting. Purdue led 19-15 early while Thomas kept Iowa State afloat.
Thomas had 12 of Iowa State’s first 24 points before a Burton jumper cut the Purdue lead to 29-26. Then the Boilermakers made their backbreaking, end-of-the-half run.
Purdue used a 15-5 run over the last 3:48 — capped by two 3-pointers from Dakota Mathias — to go ahead 44-31 at the break. Iowa State shot 44.8 percent from the field, but was just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc and 2-of-6 at the free throw line in the first half.
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