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Recap and highlights: Iowa State outlasts Washington State 67-56, ends Cougar's magical season in round of 32

Mar. 23—Washington State made a habit of proving people wrong, but finally met its match in the round of 32.

The second-seeded Iowa State Cyclones proved too much for the seventh-seeded Cougars on Saturday, pulling away for a 67-56 win in Omaha, Nebraska.

A stout WSU defense that held ISU to 1 of 13 shooting to start the game gave way in the second half. Iowa State finished 7 of 14 on 3-pointers and turned 13 Cougars turnovers into 21 points.

WSU took an early lead behind a stellar first half from Jaylen Wells. The Division II transfer carried the Cougars with 16 points in the first half, but cooled off from there and finished with 20.

Still, this Washington State group will be remembered for some time. Picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 preseason poll, the Cougars finished second in the conference and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.

BOX SCORE

Dave Boling: Washington State waited a long time for this NCAA Tournament. The Cougs will be back again soon.

OMAHA, Neb. — The Washington State Cougars didn't just arrive. They kicked the door in and pushed around the furniture, making themselves at home. — Read more

Difference makers: Tamin Lipsey comes up big in second half during Iowa State's win over WSU

JAYLEN WELLS — Read more

Second half

0:17 — ISU 65, WSU 54: Jones breaks away for a dunk to cap the ISU win. Cougars first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 will end in the second round.

3:40 — ISU 59, WSU 48: Cyclones get a layup off of a Rice turnovers. Cougs getting close to desperation mode.

5:22 — ISU 56, WSU 48: Chinyelu hits a layup and the Cyclones call a timeout. All coming down to this for WSU, which needs to make a run.

7:39 — ISU 51, WSU 44: Cougars keep fighting, will have two free throws on the other side of the U8 media timeout. Momcilovic hit a jumper to keep ISU's lead in tact.

Wells leads WSU with 18 points, but he only has two since halftime. Rice up to 11.

11:12 — ISU 45, WSU 37: Lipsey, Jones and Momcilovic all hit 3-pointers to give the Cyclones their largest lead of the game and the Cougars need a timeout. Shots starting to fall for ISU after a tough first half.

15:46 — ISU 36, WSU 31: Gilbert converts a basket plus a free throw at the U16 media timeout. Cyclones with a 9-4 advantage since halftime. Cougs ball after the break.

18:24 — ISU 31, WSU 27: Tough start for the Cougs, who give up four-straight points on a couple of turnovers and Jones is called for a third foul. WSU calls a timeout.

Halftime

Iowa State got a late layup to tie the score at 27-all with Washington State after a physical first half.

Iowa State shot 31% from the field, while WSU shot 41%.

Jaylen Wells put the Cougars on his back, scoring 16 points.

The Cyclones had a more balanced approach and crept back into the game after opening 1 of 13 from the field.

First half

4:00 — WSU 21, ISU 19: Wells up to 12 points at the U4 media timeout. Cougs have the ball, next foul will be bonus for both teams.

5:12 — WSU 19, ISU 17: Cyclones breifly take the lead, but Wells grabs it back with a 3-pointer. He's providing most of WSU's offense with 10 points.

8:00 — WSU 14, ISU 8: Gilbert is called for a foul at the U8 media timeout, after the Cyclones get a couple of inside shots to fall.

Cougars struggling from outside, still letting it fly, 2 of 10 on 3-pointers.

11:34 — WSU 11, ISU 4: Cougars suffocating ISU, limiting the Cyclones to 1 of 13 shooting. Haven't taken full advantage, but have a good lead at the U12 media timeout.

Wells leads with five points, Jones adds four. Cougs 1 of 6 on 3-pointers.

15:55 — WSU 7, ISU 0: Great start for the Cougars, who lock down the Cyclones and start on a 7-0 run at the U16 media timeout. Iowa State misses its first seven attempts.

Wells has five points, Jones adds two.

Pregame

The Washington State men's basketball team has been proving people wrong all season. Who's to say they stop now?

The seventh-seeded Cougars (25-9) take on No. 2 seed Iowa State (28-7) today in a NCAA Tournament round of 32 game in Omaha, Nebraska. Tipoff is set for 3:10 p.m. on TNT.

The Cyclones, winners of the Big 12 Tournament championship, are 6 1/2 -point favorites.

Iowa State ran away with a win over South Dakota State in the first round, while WSU earned a hard-fought win over Drake.

A Cougars win would give them their first Sweet 16 berth since 2008, also the last time they made the tournament. That's WSU's only Sweet 16 appearance, the only over time they advanced further was in 1941 under a difference format.

Iowa State at a glance

Game preview

In No. 7 Washington State's prep for No. 2 Iowa State, ball security comes at a premium

OMAHA, Neb. — For as quick as Isaac Jones is, for his nimble footwork and his springy spin moves, Washington State's forward prefers a different speed. He would rather take his time in the post, back his guy down, maybe grab his own miss and stick it back. — Read more

Key matchup: WSU's Myles Rice needs to play smart against Iowa State's Tamin Lipsey

OMAHA, Neb. — Some of Myles Rice's best moments have come when he's been aggressive. When he's attacked the rim, when he's made a quick pass, when he's found teammates for lobs and wing 3-pointers. — Read more

More on the Cougs

Dave Boling: Survive and advance? After WSU guard Myles Rice battled cancer, each game is a victory

I'd doubt that any player in this tournament has more literally embraced the concept of "survive and advance" more than Washington State's Myles Rice — with far higher stakes involved. — Read more

Ready for the moment, WSU's Isaiah Watts leads Cougars in crunch time to 66-61 win over Drake

OMAHA, Neb. — Isaiah Watts lifted his arms above his head and called his Washington State teammates together, his seventh-seeded Cougars moments away from a 66-61 win over 10th-seeded Drake in Thursday's NCAA Tournament opener, and tried to calm everyone down. — Read more

Dave Boling: Kyle Smith got Washington State's groove back, now they're dancing into the Round of 32

OMAHA, Neb. — Welcome back, Washington State Cougars. — Read more

WSU coach Kyle Smith says he's 'waiting to see what they're presenting' on contract extension

OMAHA, Neb. — Kyle Smith may have his Washington State in new territory, playing Drake on Thursday in the Cougars' first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008, but he's also thinking about his future at the school. — Read more