Iowa State pulls away to beat NC Central, but loses Georges Niang

Saturday March 22nd, 2014

Iowa State is moving on in the tournament without Georges Niang, after he suffered a season-ending injury. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images))Iowa State is moving on in the tournament without Georges Niang (31), after he suffered a season-ending injury. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images))

SAN ANTONIO — DeAndre Kane was facedown on his knees and holding his head.

The star of third-seeded Iowa State, he stayed on the floor for nearly a minute Friday night. He had received a glancing blow to his face on a driving basket by North Carolina Central’s Jeremy Ingram late in the first half.

The volatile Kane slowly rose to his feet and when the game resumed, he ran down court still holding the right side of his face. For a half, he and his teammates absorbed feisty 14th-seeded North Carolina Central’s best shot.

But after halftime, the Cyclones countered with a knockout blow en route to a rugged 93-75 triumph in the second round of the East Region.

They only led by six at halftime, but broke the game open with an 11-0 run that pushed their lead to 20 points with 9:47 left. It was a balanced Iowa State effort with five scorers in double figures, topped by forward Georges Niang, whose 24 points included a 4-of-5 effort on threes.

The Cyclones (27-7) next play sixth-seeded North Carolina, a fortunate 79-77 winner vs. Providence, on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Cylcones won't have Niang for that game, as the sophomore suffered a foot fracture and is out for the remainder of the season.

Kane, on the other hand, grimaced a little after the game and flashed a few smiles and waved to his adoring fans, seemingly no worse for the wear.

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