With :04.7 remaining, down 69-67, Iowa State wanted the ball in the hands of Chris Allen, who had already scored 22 points and fired in five second-half 3-pointers.
And that's what the Cyclones got.
Problem was, OSU's Le'Bryan Nash swatted Allen's running shot at the buzzer, preserving the Cowboys win.
“We executed our play,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. “We had a big guy guarding Chris, and he took it in there, made a move. We thought he could get in there and get fouled or go for the layup.
“He was obviously the hot guy for us at the time, and we wanted to get the ball in his hands and let him make a play.”
The Cowboys might have gotten something unexpected with Nash's block.
Nash noted that OSU coach Travis Ford probably considers him the “weak link” on defense.
“He said that, right?” Ford said, following his players into the post-game press conference. “LB has come so far defensively. He has his moments where he's a really good defender and you saw one there at the last second, so that's what counted.
“But I'm sure he thinks that, as much as we're yelling his name on defense. So I can see where he'd think that.”
And Ford apparently is not alone.
“LB blocking a game-winning shot? It's unusual,” said Cowboys sophomore Markel Brown. “Usually, he doesn't get up off the ground.”
COBBINS UNSUNG HERO
Freshman forward Michael Cobbins was the only OSU starter not to reach double-figure scoring.
Still, he pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and added an assist, a blocked shot and a steal, while doing a commendable job defending ISU leading scorer Royce White.
White finished with 15 points, but on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor.
“I thought Michael Cobbins might have been the most valuable player in the game with the job he did on Royce White,” Ford said, “and figuring out, somehow, how to have enough energy to go get 14 rebounds.”
The Cowboys hit the road for the first of two rugged road games, visiting No. 7 Kansas Saturday. Tip time is 3 p.m.
KU is 18-5 overall and 8-2 in the Big 12 entering Wednesday night's game at No. 6 Baylor
OSU hasn't won in Allen Fieldhouse in 15 tries dating back to 1989, when the Leonard Hamilton-coached Cowboys left Lawrence with a win.
After sitting out Saturday's loss to Baylor under a Ford-imposed suspension, Cowboys freshman guard Cezar Guerrero returned against Iowa State.
Guerrero played four minutes.
“We had a long talk,” Ford said. “And I talked to everybody, and they said he's doing what he's supposed to be doing. Hopefully, he learned a lesson and is ready to go.”
Seated courtside for Tuesday's win was Desmond Mason, generally considered OSU's greatest dunker ever.
But an excited Mason jumped to his feet twice reacting to jams by Brown, who one day might challenge Mason's place as a dunking highlight provider.
“I don't think I can compete with him yet,” Brown said. “He's got an NBA slam dunk (championship) under his belt.”