Kansas State falls to No. 17 Iowa State 76-63
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Iowa State's Georges Niang and Monte Morris both felt the ball hadn't bounced their way in consecutive Big 12 losses.
They didn't leave anything to chance on Saturday.
Morris scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, Niang scored 15 points and No. 17 Iowa State kept Kansas State at arm's length in a 76-63 victory.
"We stayed together," Morris said. "When they made runs, we always huddled up and kept our composure. I think when we are like this, I do not think anybody can beat us. When we focus, I feel like we play well and respond well to adversity."
The win snapped a two-game skid for the Cyclones (13-4, 2-3 Big 12) after dropping nail-biters to Texas and No. 22 Baylor, and prevented Iowa State's first 1-4 league start since 2010-11.
Abdel Nader added 14 points and Matt Thomas had 11 for Iowa State, which shot 50.9 percent from the field -- meeting its season average of 50.2. Three players finished with at least six rebounds.
First-year Iowa State coach Steve Prohm used a timeout with 9:35 play to spark a 7-0 run after Kansas State cut a double-digit lead to 50-45 on a basket by Justin Edwards.
"We had to get a stop," Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said. "But they made their plays."
Edwards scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Kansas State (11-6, 1-4).
Three times late, Kansas State pushed back but couldn't get any closer than 66-59 with 3:12 remaining on a 3-pointer by Kamau Stokes. The Wildcats cooled off after hitting 10 3-pointers against Texas Tech on Tuesday, completing just 4 of 21 attempts from beyond the arc.
"I think we let our lack of offensive execution and shot-making affect our defense," Weber said. "That meant we didn't have any energy, but you have to let the defense create the energy."
The first half had the makings of a blowout. A 7-minute scoring drought for Kansas State allowed the visitors to take a double-digit lead. The Wildcats were 1 of 15 from the field during the spell and turned the ball over four times. At one point, Kansas State scored three points on 19 possessions.
Morris scored with 5:09 remaining in the half to make it 26-9. D.J. Johnson responded for the Wildcats with a tough layup inside that started a 14-6 run to cut the deficit to 32-23 by halftime.
"I have learned a lot in my short time in this league, and we just have to continue to get better each day," Prohm said. "But to come here and win like this in double figures, it shows that we are not going to let people push us out and say that Iowa State is done this year."
Barry Brown had averaged 17.3 points per game in Big 12 play for Kansas State, including 15 points against Texas Tech on Tuesday, but the freshman guard was held to four on 1-of-10 shooting Saturday.
"Coach (Chester) Frazier asked him, 'You've been in the gym every day during break. You have a big game against Texas Tech, were you in the gym on Wednesday?' I think the answer is pretty obvious. If you want to be a good player, you have to be in the gym."
Iowa State: Backup guard Hallice Cooke did not make the trip due to a suspension that is a non-legal issue. ... The Cyclones snapped a three-game losing streak in Manhattan, Kansas.
Kansas State: Wildcats starting bigs Dean Wade and Stephen Hurt combined for just eight points on 4-of-15 shooting.
Iowa State hosts No. 2 Oklahoma on Monday.
Kansas State is at No. 22 Baylor on Wednesday.