The Iowa State Cyclones are one of the best offensive teams in college basketball, and they showed why in their 76-58 dominating win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Dayton, Ohio. The Irish actually got out to an 18-14 lead in the first half, but Iowa State ended the first twenty minutes with a 21-5 run to take a 35-23 lead into the locker room.
That trend continued in the second half as 10-seeded Iowa State pushed their lead to as many as 27 en route to the 18 point win. The game wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. 7-seeded Notre Dame had no answer for the Cyclones’ offense as Iowa State shot 49% from the floor and hit 9-for-21 from three. The Cyclones were as impressive as anybody in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament, and they certainly look like a team capable of making a run in spite of their seeding.
Freshman Georges Niang led the way with 19 points, which tied a career high, on 9-for-13 shooting. Junior Melvin Ejim had 17 points and 8 rebounds as the only other player in double figures for Fred Hoiberg’s squad.
An off shooting night will kill you against a team as explosive on offense as Iowa State, and that’s exactly what happened for Notre Dame. They shot 43% from the floor and made only 4 of their 17 attempts from three. Tom Knight led the way for the Fighting Irish with 14 points. Senior Jack Cooley added 14 points as well in the final game of his Notre Dame career.
It was an impressive performance for Iowa State, and they will move on to battle the 2-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday. If they play like they did tonight, then they are going to give Ohio State all they want and more, and could very well move on to the Sweet 16 and beyond.
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