By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer
AMES, Iowa (AP) — The Lindell Wigginton and Cam Lard that Iowa State had hoped to see all season finally showed up on Saturday, giving the Cyclones the hope that last year’s stars are ready to play bigger roles down the stretch.
Marial Shayok scored 20 points and the Cyclones beat the Cowboys 72-59, sweeping the season series .
Wigginton had 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and Lard added 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks in just 14 minutes for the Cyclones (14-4, 4-2 Big 12), who forced 15 turnovers and used a late 13-2 run to hold off the Cowboys.
“I feel like I’m starting to get into a rhythm,” said Wigginton, who has been coming off the bench after battling a foot injury last month. “It’s been tough with my situation … but my teammates and my coaches just told me to stick with it — and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
After letting Oklahoma State creep to within five, Shayok followed a jumper with a wide-open corner 3 to give Iowa State a 59-47 lead with 5:30 left. Shayok buried another 3, this one contested, to push the Cyclones’ lead to 13 with 3:49 to go.
Iowa State also didn’t turn the ball over in the second half and finished with just six.
“I’m happy for (Wigginton), because we need him and Cameron to be at their best,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.
Cameron McGriff scored 17 points and Lindy Waters had 14 to lead Oklahoma State (8-10, 2-4), which dropped its second straight game. The Cowboys opened the second half on an 11-2 run after falling behind by 11, but they didn’t get any closer.
“I thought it was a competitive game for the most part,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “When you’re down men, you can’t lose the 50-50 battle, which we did, and didn’t have a chance, really, to put much pressure on them when we missed some free throws down the stretch.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa State: The Cyclones are now 4-2 in the Big 12 — and 2-0 against Kansas and Texas Tech, the only league teams ranked in the top 10 in this week’s poll. If Iowa State can continue to play like it did this week, it’ll push for the conference title.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are going to have a tough go of it the rest of the way with just nine players on their roster. Still, Oklahoma State showed a lot of fight in a gym that has demoralized quite a few road teams in recent years.
Wigginton shot below 50 percent in each of his first seven games and came into play shooting just 33.8 percent overall. But with the Cyclones in need of an early boost, Wigginton buried 3s on back-to-back possessions. He then found Lard underneath the basket with a no-look pass from the 3-point line, and Lard’s easy dunk made it 40-29 Iowa State at halftime. Wigginton also hit a corner 3 to put the Cyclones ahead 49-40, and his 3 with 3:12 left pushed Iowa State’s lead to 65-49. “He’s only going to get better,” Shayok said.
Lard, who averaged 12.6 points a game last season, broke into double figures for the first time in 2018-19. He was active under glass, helping to neutralize Cowboys big man Yor Anei, and gave Iowa State exactly what it needed in the paint with Michael Jacobson and George Conditt struggling. “I thought he was really good,” Prohm said of Lard. “He provides some things that, the couple of guys that play (center) for us, they’re all so different. So, it really depends on what you need in the moment.”
Both teams went 23 of 55 from the floor. But the Cyclones hit 10 3s to 7 for Oklahoma State, and Iowa State made 10 more free throws. … Iowa State scored just nine points in the first 12 minutes of the second half, which allowed the Cowboys to hang around. … Anei had nine points and 12 rebounds, but he also turned it over five times.
Iowa State’s win at No. 8 Texas Tech on Wednesday, combined with this victory, could nudge it back into the Top 25 on Monday.
Iowa State plays at No. 7 Kansas on Monday. The Jayhawks should have plenty of motivation after losing to West Virginia earlier Saturday.
Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma on Wednesday.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Get our free daily email updates and never miss a story: http://eepurl.com/cCIqGL