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Cyclones Clip Hawkeyes, 75-72
Iowa lets 40-31 halftime lead slip away
Freshman Melsahn Basabe flirted with a triple-double, finishing the game with 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks against ISU.
Freshman Melsahn Basabe flirted with a triple-double, finishing the game with 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks against ISU.
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Dec. 10, 2010

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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Transition defense and no answer for guard Scott Christopherson led Iowa State to a 75-72 victory over Iowa on Friday night in a HyVee CyHawk Series contest at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Trailing by 10 points with 3:34 remaining, the Hawkeyes used a 10-2 spurt over a two-minute span to pull to within a field goal at 70-68. On the ensuing Iowa State possession, freshman Zach McCabe appeared to draw a charge or at least force a Cyclone turnover, but no foul was called and the ball trickled out of bounds off of McCabe, allowing ISU to maintain possession.

"We were right there," said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. "That call goes the other way, we've got the ball down two. So you're right there."

Iowa State took advantage of the opportunity, as Christopherson connected on a three-pointer - his seventh of the game - to seal the victory. The crucial three-pointer accounted for the guard's 30th point of the contest.

"It's my fault, I am not blaming anybody else," said McCaffery, when talking about Christopherson's 30-point outing. "We've seen him already make seven threes in a game. You'd like to think that we would be better able to prohibit him from having a similar performance.

"But when it's all said and done, I think you have to credit him. He made the shots and he made the plays, and we did not."

After leading by nine points at the half, Iowa came out flat to start the second 20 minutes, giving ISU the opportunity to quickly close the gap. The Cyclones scored 15 of the first 20 points to turn a 40-31 deficit into a 46-45 lead with 14:05 to play.

With the score 50-49 in Iowa's favor, the Cyclones got hot, as Diante Garrett connected on a jumper before Christopherson scored eight straight points, which included back-to-back three pointers, to make the score 59-52. A dunk by Melvin Ejim stretched the lead to 61-52, but the Iowa crowd helped the Hawkeyes battle back.

"I thought it (the atmosphere) was tremendous and I felt we needed it," said McCaffery. "We had a stretch in the second half where we couldn't buy one. We had a couple of chances. We were down 9, 10, had a chance, that thing could have gone to 18, 20, the way we were playing. I think the energy level we were able to get from the crowd was important."

A jumper by Bryce Cartwright cut the margin to seven before Matt Gatens and Melsahn Basabe followed with a lay-up and dunk to make the score 61-58. Christopherson then silenced the crowd with an answer of his own.

The ISU guard made two free throws and a three pointer to push the margin back to eight before a Garrett lay-up made the score 68-58 with three and a half minutes to play.

Iowa State opened the game strong, building a 12-4 lead over the first four plus minutes. Gatens then started to heat up, as he scored nine straight Hawkeye points - on three treys - to give Iowa the 14-12 advantage. The two teams traded runs, as Iowa pushed its lead to seven (21-14) before ISU trimmed it to one (25-24) with 5:58 to go in the half.

Up two with around two minutes remaining in the half, Iowa used an 8-1 run, which included a Cartwright fast break lay-up at the buzzer, to take a 40-31 lead into the break.

Gatens paced a group of four Hawkeyes in double digits, netting 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Basabe had eight points, 10 boards and seven blocks in the first half, before finishing with a 12-point, 14-rebound and seven block performance for the game.

Iowa (5-5) will now have a week off for finals before returning to the court at Drake on Dec. 18.

 Iowa State 75, Iowa 72 1st 2nd Final
 Iowa State (8-2) 31 44 75
 Iowa (5-5) 40 32 72
 Statistical Leaders
 PointsMatt Gatens (UI) 15   |  Christopherson (ISU) 30
 Rebounds:  Melsahn Basabe (UI) 14   |  Vanderbeken (ISU) 9
 Assists:  Bryce Cartwright (UI) 7   |  Anderson/Garrett (ISU) 6

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