KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Georges Niang scored 28 points, reserve Dustin Hogue had 17 and No. 13 Iowa State beat Alabama 84-74 on Monday night to reach the CBE Classic championship game.
Naz Long also scored 15 points for the Cyclones (3-0), who will play Maryland for the tournament title on Tuesday night. Matt Thomas returned from a suspension to score 13 points.
The Terrapins beat Arizona State 78-73 earlier in the night.
Rodney Cooper scored 27 points for the Crimson Tide (3-1), who had won the only previous meeting between the schools. Levi Randolph finished with 18 points.
The Cyclones were clinging to a 74-70 lead with less than 3 minutes left when Thomas made a big jumper. Cooper hit a 3-pointer at the other end for Alabama, but after Niang made two foul shots, Cooper misfired from beyond the arc with 2 minutes to go.
Hogue’s basket with 1:28 remaining gave Iowa state an 80-73 lead, putting the game away.
The return of Thomas and Abdel Nader, who also had been suspended for violating team rules, gave Iowa State some much-needed depth. It got only nine points from its reserves in its first two games.
The Cyclones used a 10-0 run midway through the opening half to take control, and it was Niang doing most of his damage. The slimmed-down forward scored on a twisting layup, and then hit two straight 3-pointers to catapult Iowa State to a 38-26 lead with about 4 minutes to go.
Randolph answered with his only two baskets of the half, and Ricky Tarrant’s field goal at the buzzer trimmed Alabama’s deficit to 43-37 at the break.
The Crimson Tide kept chipping away in the second half. Cooper hit his first five shots, two of them from beyond the arc, and Tarrant’s 3-pointer gave them a 59-58 lead with 11:22 left.
Long answered by going on a personal 8-0 run, the first four points coming when he was fouled on a 3-pointer in the corner. He made the ensuing free throw, and then made four more foul shots on two more trips down floor, allowing the Cyclones to regain the lead.
Niang’s basket with 4 1/2 minutes left gave Iowa State a 72-65 lead. And after Randolph’s three-point play at the other end, Long made a scooping circus-style layup for the Cyclones.
Niang and Hogue took care of business down the stretch to wrap up the victory.
Iowa State: The Cyclones, one of the best teams in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, dished out 18 assists. But they also had 15 turnovers.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide went 10 of 30 from beyond the arc.
Iowa State: The Cyclones, who went 9-1 in neutral-site games a year ago, will play Maryland for the championship.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide will face the Sun Devils in the third-place game.
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