DAYTON, Ohio — When the ISU men's basketball team faced Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA tournament, it didn't just move onto the next round; it ran and sprinted past its opponent for a 76-58 victory.
The Cyclones proceeded to widen the gap after a 35-23 deficit at halftime, by playing efficient basketball, going 15-of-25 from the field and making 60 percent of their shots.
They also held Notre Dame to making 13-of-30 shots, while forcing 17 turnovers and scoring 16 points off of those turnovers.
Iowa State will now face No. 2 seed Ohio State on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. CST.
With 14:14 left, Melvin Ejim hit a 3-pointer to spark a 26-10 run to finish the half, putting the Cyclones up 35-23 at halftime.
From there Iowa State never looked back, as Notre Dame could only cut the lead to as low as 10 following halftime.
Georges Niang — The freshman sparkled in his first ever NCAA tournament game. He finished the night with 19 points, three rebounds and four assists on only 9-13 shooting from the field.
By The Numbers
17 — Iowa State forced Notre Dame into turning the ball over 17 times.
16/4 — Points off turnovers were a big difference as Iowa State took advantage, outscoring Notre Dame 16 to 4 in turnovers.
12/2 — Dictating a quick pace was key for Iowa State in tonight's game. They outscored Notre Dame 12/2 in fast break points.
36 — Niang and Ejim came in as exploitable targets for Notre Dame. The short post duo combined for 36 points on 15-29 shooting.
"After they threw that first punch, we just weren't able to throw back any punches of our own." — Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley on the game
"Georges, as crafty as he is, did a good job taking his time and going up and finishing those shots." — Fred Hoiberg on Niang's performance
"It shows a lot of heart and a lot of character that he has. For him to come in with the confidence level that he has and the confidence that we have in him, for him to perform the way he did is big time." — Korie Lucious on Georges Niang's performance
"I know some stuff was said in their interviews that we didn't appreciate. They were sort of calling out me and Melvin and how we can't guard them and a couple things on Twitter. What have me and Melvin done? We've played against bigger guys the whole year. We felt like we just had to bring our lunch pale and go to work again." — Georges Niang and his attitude coming into the game
"You can say I trash talk. It's all fun and games, basketball is a great game. Sometimes that gets me in trouble with the refs but today it didn't. I think I've just had a chip on my shoulder my entire life being doubted and again I heard comments, me being doubted. I couldn't handle Cooley, this and that. That motivates you at some point so I'm happy we came out with the win and my team played great." — Niang on playing with a chip on his shoulder against Notre Dame