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MENS BASKETBALL


Iowa State 60, Central Florida 52

Iowa State 60, Central Florida 52

PHILIP ROSSMAN-REICH
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tre King had 16 points and No. 8 Iowa State used a late 11-0 run to beat UCF 60-52 for its third straight victory and seventh in eight games.

Milan Momcilovic and Curtis Jones each added 11 points for Iowa State (23-6, 12-4 Big 12). Momcilovic hit a basket with 2:20 left to give the Cyclones a three-point lead, and Keshon Gilbert stole the ball from Darius Johnson and made a layup and a 3-point play to push the advantage to six with 1:53 to go.

“We call it winning time,” King said. “Something we practice in practice every day is the last four minutes. Regardless of whether we are up or down or having a good shooting night or a bad shooting night because that’s the name of the game because at that time anything can happen. We pride ourselves on continuing to get stops those last four minutes.”

Jaylin Sellers led UCF (15-13, 6-10) with 13 points. Shemarri Allen had 11.

After UCF rallied to take a one-point lead, the Cyclones held the Knights scoreless for nearly the final five minutes. UCF broke the drought with 16 seconds left at the foul line. The Knights did not make a field goal in the final 5:08.

“They make it difficult on every single possession you have in the half court,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “I thought we had our looks. We just didn’t knock them down in that last four-minute segment. Part of that is the wear and tear they put on you in the 36 minutes prior to that. They wear you down.”

UCF was 1 of 19 from 3-point range, with the lone make coming from big man C.J. Walker in the first half.

Iowa State and UCF have two of the top defenses in the Big 12 — and lived up to the billing. The teams combined to force 39 turnovers — 24 in the first half. The Cyclones took advantage though, with 22 points off the Knights’ 22 turnovers.

“Our guys have a lot of pride in our ability to get stops defensively,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “I thought late we did a better job defending the basketball. Our program we take a lot of pride in getting stops and we were fortunate down the stretch to do that.”

The pressure defense continued throughout the second half and especially during the decisive run. UCF had four turnovers during Iowa State’s late run.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: The Cyclones entered Saturday a game behind No. 1 Houston for first place in the Big 12 with two games remaining.

UCF: The Knights are chasing one of the Big 12’s automatic qualifications for the NIT.

Iowa State athletics press release

March 2, 2024





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