AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg gave rising freshman Monte Morris his first career start in an effort to spark the slumping Cyclones.
But it was the efforts of veteran contributors Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim that sparked No. 16 Iowa State to a crucial league win.
Niang scored a career-high 27 points, Ejim had 22 points with 16 rebounds and No. 16 Iowa State held off 23rd-ranked Oklahoma 81-75 on Saturday for just its second win in six games.
Niang was 10 of 16 shooting — including a back-breaking 3 with 55.5 seconds left — and Ejim had his 28th double-double as the Cyclones (16-4, 4-4 Big 12) moved back to .500 in the Big 12.
"Georges, he had one of those nights where everything was going right," Hoiberg said. "(Ejim) was all over the glass. I was really happy to see him go out with that type of mentality."
Buddy Hield scored a career-high 30 points for Oklahoma (17-5, 6-3), which saw its winning streak snapped at four games. The Sooners lost despite outrebounding Iowa State 46-33.
"A tough battle throughout. It seemed like for 40 minutes we were generally fighting from a little bit of a deficit and couldn't quite get back over the hump," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said.
After losing four games in five after a 14-0 start, Hoiberg made a big change to his lineup.
Hoiberg gave the ever-improving Morris the start at point guard after he posted a 20-to-2 assist to turnover ratio in seven Big 12 games.
The move also allowed the Cyclones to free up the explosive Kane for more opportunities to make plays from the wing.
Morris finished with 12 points, while Kane matched a season-low with five points. But Kane also nine assists and just one turnover, and his dunk with 33 seconds to go helped put away the Sooners.
"DeAndre's offensive numbers weren't what they normally are, but he took what the defense gave him," Hoiberg said. "Our guys did a really good job of moving the ball, sharing the ball."
The guard who dominated the game early was Hield.