MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Lindell Wigginton hit five 3-pointers and scored 23 points, Talen Horton-Tucker buried six 3s and had 20, and No. 23 Iowa State pulled away late for a 78-64 victory over No. 18 Kansas State on Saturday to tighten up the Big 12 title race.
Marial Shayok added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (19-6, 8-4), who pulled within a game of the Wildcats (19-6, 9-3) with six games to go in the conference schedule.
The road win also pulled Texas Tech and Kansas back in the championship picture.
Iowa State wound up going 14 of 24 from beyond the 3-point line, shooting right over Kansas State’s vaunted defense, which had been holding to teams to fewer than 60 points on average this season.
Barry Brown had 23 points for the Wildcats, but he didn’t get a whole lot of help. The rest of the team was a combined 2 of 13 from the 3-point arc and 11 of 34 from the field.
Making matters worse, the short-handed Wildcats – already without top backup Cartier Diarra because of hand surgery – lost Dean Wade with 9:18 to go. Their star forward limped off the floor and spent the remainder of the game sitting on the end of the bench.
The preseason Big 12 player of the year missed several weeks with a foot injury earlier this season.
The Wildcats’ half-court defense held Iowa State in check until late in the first half, when Horton-Tucker spoiled even good coverage. The freshman guard hit four 3s and finished with 14 first-half points, one of them a fade-away from well beyond the arc as the shot clock expired.
Iowa State was poised to carry a big lead into the break, but Nick Weiler-Babb’s miss with a couple seconds left gave Brown a chance to unload a 3-pointer from just inside the mid-court line.
It rattled home, giving Brown 16 points in the half and drawing Kansas State within 38-31.
Horton-Tucker answered out of the locker room with a 3-pointer from about six feet beyond the arc, and the Cyclones still led 50-41 when Wigginton buried a 3 with 13 1/2 minutes to go.
Kansas State pecked away at its deficit, pulling within 57-56 on Mike McGuirl’s follow shot with 7 minutes left. But the Cyclones continued to respond with a barrage of 3-pointers, and it was Wigginton who knocked down two fall-away 3s in succession to regain control.
They put the game away when Cameron Lard threw down a dunk with 2:50 to go, and Horton-Tucker buried one last 3-pointer from in front of his celebrating bench.
Iowa State is right back in the Big 12 title picture after avenging its loss to the Wildcats at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones were coming off a surprising home loss to TCU, but otherwise they’ve won seven of their last nine games – including four of their last five on the road.
Kansas State’s margin for error was trimmed considerably, especially with a trip to Kansas still on the docket. The Wildcats now lead Texas Tech by just a half-game in the standings, and the Cyclones and Jayhawks are within striking distance in what has become a four-team race.
Iowa State returns home to face Baylor on Tuesday night.
Kansas State heads to West Virginia on Monday night.
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