After withstanding a first-half push from their underdog challengers, the Big 12 champion Iowa State Cyclones defeated the North Carolina Central Eagles on Friday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The 14th-seed NC Central took advantage of some sharp three-point shooting to take an early lead. Third-seed Iowa State was just as accurate, and turned up the defense and aggressiveness as the game wore on.
The favorites took a 45-39 lead into the dressing room at the half, then got down to business in the second frame. By game's end, they'd shot 63.6 percent, including 9-for-17 from behind the three-point line, and gone 14-for-16 in foul shooting.
Starting forward Georges Niang led all scorers for Iowa State with 24 points, but exited the game midway through the second half with a foot injury. After the game, it was confirmed that Niang had suffered a foot fracture and will miss the remainder of the season.
The Eagles put out an admirable performance in their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, coming in just their third season in Division I. MEAC player of the year Jeremy Ingram showed particularly well: the 6'3" guard finished with 28 points, two assists and five rebounds.
The win advances Iowa State to the third round of the tournament, where they'll face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the East Region.
Final Score: Iowa State Cyclones 93 - North Carolina Central Eagles 75