By JASON ELMQUIST
STILLWATER — The last time Iowa State won in Stillwater, Eddie Sutton had yet to coach at Oklahoma State. On a night celebrating the former Cowboy coach, the Cyclones ended the streak dating back to 1988 with a 98-97 triple overtime victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“I know I got my butt handed to my four times in this arena, before the addition, but it’s a hard place to play,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “They do a great job and coming in here on Eddie Sutton Night, we knew there was going to be a little extra emotion in this building. … To gut this win out was huge.”
Oklahoma State – which was playing another man down after the dismissal of Stevie Clark following Sunday’s arrest for outraging public decency, his second arrest this calendar year – fell to 4-5 in the Big 12 Conference and now sit in the bottom four of the league.
Marcus Smart, who has been mired in a shooting funk the past four games, appeared to find a rhythm midway through the second half. And with him, the rest of the team started to catch fire, as well.
The sophomore point guard from Flower Mound, Texas, scored 19 of his 20 points in the second half and overtimes.
Each team had a chance to end the game in regulation. Nash had a shot in the paint blocked by Dustin Houge, which was rebounded by Iowa State – which elected not to use a timeout with 19 seconds remaining. A 3-point shot by DeAndre Kane bounced off and was slammed home by Melvin Ejim after the clock had expired.
A similar situation happened at the end of the first overtime.
Williams had a chance to give OSU a one-point lead in the final 20 seconds, but had his second free throw attempt spin out to set up the Cyclones with the chance to win the game. With Monte Morris driving the baseline, Brown got a block from behind to send it to a second extra period.
At the end of the second overtime, after a missed jumper by Markel Brown, Iowa State needed just a 3-pointer to tie the game and extend it. Kane got a rebound off a miss by Matt Thomas and kicked it out to Naz Long, who knocked down the 3-pointer with a second remaining – which led to a third overtime.
With post player Georges Niang fouling out in the final minute of regulation, Le’Bryan Nash was able to take advantage of the lack of size down low in the overtime periods. The junior forward scored 23 points in the second half and overtimes to finish with 26 points.
“He was guarding me most of the game, so when he went out they put Houge on me and I felt like I had a couple of pounds on him and a couple of inches,” Nash said. “So I just rose over him all the time and it was just going in. I was waiting on the double team and it wasn’t coming, so I just kept going to the rack.”
Oklahoma State continued to go to Nash and used it to set up a play for Williams with 22 seconds left in the third overtime, but the pass from Nash trickled out of bounds. Long was sent to the foul line and hit both free throws to make it a 3-point game.
After a quick bucket by Brown, Williams forced a turnover on the inbounds play. OSU went to Smart, who missed a fade-away, but given another chance with 1.9 remaining after Williams forces a tie-up. Nash also went with a fade-away from the corner – that hit the front of the rim and bounced off.