Ingram's 28 not enough; Iowa State ends NCCU's 1st NCAA foray
N.C. Central was not scared.
The stage was not too big.
Somebody had to lose, and it was NCCU, going down 93-75 to Iowa State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in front of 11,690 at AT&T Center on Saturday.
“We knocked off a very, very good team,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We were very worried about this game.”
“We didn’t give our best performance on a national stage, ” NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said.
The Eagles didn't cower but did allow the game to get away from them.
NCCU played Iowa State extremely tight in the first half despite surrendering a high shooting percentage to the Cyclones, something that just won’t work against a high-scoring squad like that, Moton said.
“I thought Iowa State was the best offensive team in the country,” Moton said. "Anytime you allow a team to shoot 9 for 17 from the 3-point line and 64 percent for the game, you're not going to win."
The Cyclones were averaging 82.9 points per game.
Things unraveled for NCCU during the final 20 minutes. Iowa State had a 20-point lead with 9:34 to go in the game, and the Eagles were not able to achieve enough altitude to fly over that hump.
Iowa State point guard DeAndre Kane said the Cyclones in the second half got around NCCU’s zone by getting into their transition game, allowing them to pull away.
NCCU was the No. 14 seed in the East Region and making its first appearance in the Big Dance.
Iowa State was the No. 3 seed and showed up with three players scoring in double figures nearly every time they stepped on the court.
The Cyclones make you pick your poison, Moton said.
“Those are pros out there,” Moton said.
On Iowa State’s second possession of the game, Kane (6-4, 200) motioned for Melvin Ejim (6-6, 220) to run to the rim. He did, and Kane had a lob waiting for him. Ejim dunked it. Backward.
It was a dramatic start, but NCCU point guard Emanuel Chapman returned the favor with a jumper that tied the game.
NCCU forward Karamo Jawara got a 3-pointer to go down to give the Eagles a 5-2 lead and some hope.
Jawara early on was warm from distance, hitting another 3 that gave NCCU a 14-11 lead.
This looked like one of those nights where Chapman had packed some points to go with his usual bag of assists.
America was being introduced to NCCU basketball.
Earlier in the day, Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest Region, beat No. 3 Duke.
It’s as if the No. 14 Eagles were saying why not them over No. 3 Iowa State.
Iowa State’s Georges Niang (6-7, 240) was problem for NCCU. He’s a big man and was scoring both inside and out — especially inside.
Late in the first half, Iowa State went on an 8-0 run, leading 38-30 with 3:39 until halftime. The Cyclones were starting to gain strength.
Ingram, who scored a game-high 28 points, drove hard to the hole. He scored over Kane, who was shaken up on the play.
Kane kept grimacing and cradling his head.
NCCU kept scoring, cutting Iowa State’s lead to one point with 1:39 left in the first half.
But Iowa State got the last word when Dustin Hogue cleaned up Kane’s missed layup with a dunk at the halftime buzzer, the Cyclones leading 45-39.
“I thought that really gave them some momentum going into the locker room and allowed them to win what we call the first four minutes of the second half,” Moton said.
Iowa State was shooting 62.1 percent from the field. That wasn’t according to the script that NCCU used to get here. Moton has preached and preached to his Eagles about their need to have teams shooting no better than 40 percent.
That said, NCCU was shooting well, too, 48.4 percent with Ingram and Jawara in double figures.
NCCU finished the game shooting 46.2 percent.
“We hot 46 percent, so if you would have told me we were going to shoot 46 percent before the game I would have assured you we would have won, because I’m that confident in our defensive abilities,” Moton said.
Kane and Hogue both had 11 points at halftime. Hogue isn’t even one of Iowa State’s usual double-digit scorers. It’s normally Kane, Ejim and Niang shouldering the scoring load for the Cyclones.
North Carolina and Providence played before the NCCU-Iowa State game. NCCU assistant coaches Brian Burg and Michael Cotton sat through most of the Providence-UNC game, checking out the competition in anticipation of NCCU’s next matchup.
NCCU fans were scouting, too, rooting hard for Providence, either pulling for a fellow underdog or hoping for a more favorable matchup for the Eagles.
But it wasn’t in the cards, bringing an end to what was one fantastic flight for the Eagles.
“They made history,” Moton said.
|IOWA ST. 93, NC CENTRAL 75|
Percentages: FG .462, FT .833.
3-Point Goals: 5-16, .313 (Jawara 2-3, Ingram 2-8, Anyaorah 1-1, Groves 0-1, Chapman 0-3).
Team Rebounds: 5.
Blocked Shots: 5 (Anyaorah 2, Copeland 2, Groves).
Turnovers: 6 (Ingram 2, Chapman 2, Houston, Parks).
Steals: 3 (Parks 3).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .636, FT .875.
3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (Niang 4-5, Morris 1-1, Thomas 1-1, Kane 1-2, Ejim 1-3, Long 1-4, Hogue 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 5 (Kane, Ejim, Morris, Niang, Long).
Turnovers: 9 (Morris 2, Niang 2, Kane 2, Hogue, Ejim, Long).
Steals: 5 (Kane 2, Morris 2, Hogue).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Mike Nance, Gary Prager, Tim Comer.
NCCU POST-GAME QUOTES
Alfonzo Houston, G, Sr.
On the overall season …
“We accomplished a lot. We really ain’t got nothing to hold our head down against. All in all, that wasn’t our best performance. We could have done better, but we accomplished a lot. Nothing to be mad about.”
On Iowa State …
“Everything was just clicking for them. They were flowing. They were flowing pretty well. We tried to knock them off balance and try to get them off track, but they stayed with it. They have a lot of guys…very deep. They’ve got a lot of guys who can put the ball in that hole. They’ve just got a lot of talent.”
On what Coach Moton said to him when they hugged on the court after the game …
“He told us to keep our head up. We accomplished a lot this year. We had a nice group of seniors and they’ll be well missed.”
Karamo Jawara, F, Jr.
On losing to Iowa State …
“Right now, I’m just the worst loser you can find. I don’t care if it’s Uno, NBA2K, or a basketball game, I don’t like losing. I don’t care who it’s against. Now, I know we accomplished a lot, but the only thing fresh in my memory is that score right there. I’m going to get over it, but right now, it just happened. I can’t just look past it.”
On what Coach Moton said after the game …
“We accomplished a lot this season and that this game should just be a blur. We shouldn’t be thinking about just this game. We should look over the whole season at what we accomplished and what we’ve done for this program.”
On raising the bar for next year…
“We definitely laid a foundation. That bar is raised up. I’m going to expect more from everyone, even the transfers, the people on the team right now. That bar is raised now.
IOWA STATE POST-GAME QUOTES
Naz Long, G, So.
On Georges Niang’s injury …
“He’s defintely someone I want on my team. He led us in scoring and we need him. I’m going to hang out with him tonight and make sure he ices that ankle and get ready for North Carolina.”
On the game plan …
“Coach gave us the game plan and we believed in it. They have a great team they run their stuff and they execute well. They have great coaching and a great scorer in Jeremy Ingram, so we couldn’t down play. We want to get to the final four and we have to play our best.”
On all the upsets in the tournament …
“It definitely motivated us. We wanted to come out and play well. Seeing Coastal Carolina giving Virginia a run for their money just shows that anybody can beat anybody on a given day. Nobody’s perfect and anybody can get beat.”
On the leadership on the team …
“They definitely helped. We can depend on our starting five and we have great roll players who can come in and make key plays.”
On having injuries at this time last year and now having another one being snake bit …
“Yeah, it’s unfortunate. Whether Georges plays or not, we have to fill in in spots. Melvin was out at the beginning of the year and we were able to beat Michigan, who won the Big Ten. We will want to go out and win this for Georges if he doesn’t play.”
Monte Morris, G, So.
On playing North Carolina …
“If seen them play on TV. They have Paige and MacAdoo. They’re an athletic team. I will know a lot more about them tomorrow.”
On scoring 93 points against a good defensive team …
“They weren’t that big inside. We were able to get the ball inside and we were hitting threes and that opened everything else up. We shot the ball well at the same time.”
On playing the first tournament game …
“It felt good. Having played four years in high school on a big stage at the Bradley Center definitely helped. Getting out there I really felt good about myself.”
Georges Niang, F, So.
On his injury …
“It feels good, it’s a little swollen. The x-ray shows that I broke my right foot.”
On his status for Sunday …
“I will get reevaluated tomorrow and see if they missed anything on the X-ray.”
On what he is feeling with the uncertainty of playing on Sunday …
“I’m happy for my team. We battled and beat a good North Carolina Central team. I don’t want this to be about me. I’m happy for my team and we have a tough game coming up against North Carolina.”
On shooting so well against North Carolina Central …
“Coach drew up some plays. Plus we can score against anybody in the league going man to man.”
On the play in which he got injured …
“It was when Ingram drove by and Dustin Hogue was taking a charge and I step on one of their feet and I just rolled it. It happens but Im still excited for my team.”
On having success in the paint …
“When they were in man coverage we were to get the ball to our post guys. When they were in zone coverage we were able to throw it in over the top because we were taller.”