Enid News and Eagle
AMES, Iowa —
The sight of Naz Long with the ball in his hands and the game on the line might haunt Oklahoma State for years to come.
Long forced overtime with a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, DeAndre Kane scored five of his 27 points in the closing seconds and No. 16 Iowa State overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Cowboys in overtime 85-81 on Saturday.
Kane hit a layup and a pair of free throws to put Iowa State ahead 82-79 with 11.7 seconds left. But the Cyclones never would have made it to OT without Long — who also hit a 3 to force triple overtime in a 98-97 win at Oklahoma State a month ago.
Kane found Long down court after a rare missed free throw by Phil Forte, and Long buried one from well beyond the 3-point line to keep the Cyclones alive.
“He has the utmost confidence,” Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim said of Long. “The kid just hits big shots. That’s all it is. He’s a big-time player.”
Georges Niang had 22 points for Iowa State (23-7, 11-7 Big 12), which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Markel Brown missed two free throws with 3 seconds left for Oklahoma State (20-11, 8-10). Marcus Smart had 27 points to lead the Cowboys, but he and Cyclones star Ejim fouled out before overtime.
Brown finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
“We did a lot of good things, and there are a lot of things we need to get better at,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.
Forte, an 89 percent free throw shooter entering play, needed to hit just one from the line with five seconds left in regulation to seal the win.
But Forte’s try clanked off the rim and Kane quickly looked for Long — just as he did before Long’s big 3 in Stillwater.
“I found it weird that Kane ended up with it again. I looked back and said ‘Yo Kane, hit me.’ He hit me again,” Long said. “I just put it up there and gave it a chance.”
The Cowboys and Cyclones then traded the lead in overtime before Kane put Iowa State ahead by three. Freshman Matt Thomas hit a pair at the line to keep the Cyclones ahead 84-81, and Brown missed both of his after being fouled.
Forte had 13 points for Oklahoma State, which wanted to put Iowa State on the line instead of allowing Long a shot to tie it at the end of the second half.
“We wanted to foul. We were telling our guys, but they didn’t either hear us or react,” Ford said. “They made a tough shot. That’s part of the game.”
Early in the second half, Iowa State was behind by 16 and in serious danger of a blowout loss on Senior Day.
The Cyclones ran themselves right back into it.
Iowa State rattled off 12 straight points in three minutes behind its transition offense, as fast-break layups from Kane and Long brought the Cyclones within 45-41.
Ejim picked up his fourth foul and was forced to the bench with 9:44 left. But Iowa State still managed to retake the lead, 57-55, on a Thomas 3.
Smart answered with a 3-point play and a steal and layup, and Brown’s long jumper put the Cowboys back ahead 66-63 with 2:40 to go.
Long missed an open 3 from the corner with 27 seconds in regulation, a miss that appeared to be crushing for the Cyclones. Long more than made up for it though, and Iowa State closed out the regular season with a win that’ll surely boost their momentum heading into the Big 12 tournament.
Long finished with 14 points and Ejim had 12 in his final home game.
“When you’re known as a shooter, you can’t think about the last one. You’ve got to go on to the next one with the confidence that you’re going to step up and knock it down. And I’ll tell you, the one thing Naz Long does not lack is confidence,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
No. 16 IOWA ST. 85, OKLAHOMA ST. 81, OT
OKLAHOMA ST. (20-11) — Nash 2-7 3-4 7, Forte, III 3-9 5-8 13, Murphy 3-6 0-0 6, Brown 8-18 6-10 26, Smart 8-17 7-9 27, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Sager 0-0 0-0 0, Hammonds 0-1 0-0 0, Cox 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-60 21-31 81.
IOWA ST. (23-7) — Ejim 5-10 2-4 12, Morris 0-1 0-0 0, Hogue 1-2 3-4 5, Niang 9-25 2-2 22, Kane 8-13 10-14 27, Long 5-8 1-2 14, Thomas 1-4 2-3 5, Edozie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-63 20-29 85.
Halftime—Oklahoma St. 32-25. End Of Regulation—Tied 71. 3-Point Goals—Oklahoma St. 10-24 (Brown 4-7, Smart 4-10, Forte, III 2-5, Williams 0-1, Hammonds 0-1), Iowa St. 7-24 (Long 3-5, Niang 2-9, Kane 1-3, Thomas 1-4, Hogue 0-1, Ejim 0-2). Fouled Out—Ejim, Murphy, Niang, Smart. Rebounds—Oklahoma St. 36 (Brown 12), Iowa St. 41 (Hogue 12). Assists—Oklahoma St. 18 (Nash 6), Iowa St. 19 (Kane 8). Total Fouls—Oklahoma St. 23, Iowa St. 21. A—14,384.