AMES, Iowa – Iowa shot the ball better than Iowa State for most of the night, dominated the rebounding and often beat the Cyclones down the floor in transition.
It still wasn't enough to win this rivalry game.
Georges Niang scored 24 points, including the go-ahead basket with 18.8 seconds left, and 17th-ranked Iowa State rallied past No. 23 Iowa 85-82 on Friday night.
"If you would have said we would outrebound them 49-35, I would say we win the game," Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery. "And hold them to six offensive rebounds, we win the game. It tells me we fought."
Dustin Hogue had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Cyclones (8-0), who prevailed in the first meeting between the Cyclones and Hawkeyes as ranked teams in 26 years.
Niang gave Iowa State an 83-82 lead on a reverse layup — and Iowa's Mike Gesell then missed two free throws, clanging the second as the roar from the Hilton Coliseum crowd reached an earsplitting level. Gesell was an 85 percent free-throw shooter coming into the game.
Hogue then buried two foul shots, and Zach McCabe's attempt for a tying 3 for Iowa fell short.
Aaron White had 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (10-2), who led 82-77 with 1:29 left. They also led by as much as 10 late in the first half.
"There were some really good players out there really going at it," McCaffery said. "I'm proud of our guys. The kids kept fighting. That's what college basketball is."
Iowa and Iowa State spent the final 10 minutes trading baskets in one of the most entertaining games in a rivalry that stretches back over a century.
The final minute belonged to the resilient Cyclones.
The Hawkeyes had the ball up 82-79 with less than a minute left. But White turned it over in an uncharacteristic mistake during what was arguably his best game for Iowa.
"His versatility was evident," McCaffery said of White, who shot 11 for 15. "He was able to score. That's what we need him to do. And on the glass he had 17 rebounds. It was a terrific night by Aaron White."
Melvin Ejim hit two free throws after the turnover and Devyn Marble missed one for Iowa, giving Niang his chance to drive beneath the basket for a tough scoop shot that proved to be the difference.
Ejim had 22 points and seven rebounds and Naz Long had 13 points for Iowa State.
This was Iowa's first true road game — in one of the most hostile environments it'll play in all season.
It didn't faze the Hawkeyes in the first half.
Iowa jumped out to an early lead, helping quiet the raucous sellout crowd. Though Iowa State was aggressive in attacking the basket and drawing fouls, it was just 12 of 20 from the line in the first half.
The Hawkeyes showed their impressive depth with multiple baskets from five different players, and White's 13 points helped them build a 45-38 lead. The Cyclones might have been out of the game by halftime if not for Niang's 16 first-half points.
Iowa State was able to pull even at 62 with just over 10 minutes left — and Hogue's 3-point play made it 65-62 Cyclones.
Marble had 19 points and six assists for the Hawkeyes, who were 14 of 18 on free throws before their three costly misses at the end.
It's been a long time since the Hawkeyes and Cyclones were this good this early.
"We've got to stay positive. It's early in the season. This is a very good basketball team. We've just got to maintain our composure down the stretch — especially in a hostile environment," Gesell said. "We've got to just having each other's back and keep moving forward from this."