Niang, Iowa State stomp Notre Dame
Dayton, OH – Freshman Georges Niang scored 19 points and Melvin Ejim added 17, and Iowa State blew out Notre Dame, 76-58, in a second- round game from the West Region in the NCAA Tournament.
Will Clyburn and Tyrus McGee each scored nine for the 10th-seeded Cyclones (23-11), who won a game in the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year. In 2012, the Cyclones opened by upending Connecticut before losing to eventual national champion Kentucky in the next round.
Next up for Iowa State is a Sunday game against No. 2 seed Ohio State. The Buckeyes beat Iona, 95-70, earlier Friday night at University of Dayton Arena.
"I thought we played with tremendous aggressiveness on the defensive end, especially early in that game," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "I really thought we set the tone with the ball pressure, active hands, deflections. We had 14 deflections in the first half that led to 14 turnovers, and that allowed us to get some great opportunities in transition."
The Cyclones went into the game the nation's leader in 3-pointers per game at 9.8, and they hit 9-of-21 from beyond the arc.
"Coach coming in the game told us we'd have a mismatch against the bigs, and they were really closing in on us hard," Niang said. "So that gave us a lane to go by them. Their guards weren't really helping much. They were staying to our shooters. So that gave me and Melvin lay-ins to the hoop. Melvin got a couple of dunks, and I got some easy lay-ins, and that got us going, and we just kind of fed off of that."
Tom Knight and Jack Cooley each scored 14 for the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish (25-10), who fell behind by double digits at halftime and never recovered.
"I'm thoroughly disappointed in us tonight," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "It's crushing that we weren't better in the first half and better with the basketball. They had a lot to do with it. It's a hard one to swallow."
Knight's jumper had Notre Dame within 25-21 with nearly four minutes left in the half, but Chris Babb responded with a 3-pointer to start a big 8-0 burst. Babb nailed another 3-ball and Clyburn sank two from the charity stripe to end the flurry.
The Cyclones held a 35-23 halftime lead and scored the first six of the second half. The margin reached 20 at 57-37 following a Korie Lucious 3-pointer with nearly 11 1/2 minutes to go, and the Fighting Irish had no answer.
Two straight 3-pointers from McGee moved the cushion to 69-42 with eight minutes left.
Jerian Grant had nine points for the Irish, who shot 43.1 percent ... The Irish held a 16-2 advantage in second-chance points.