AMES, Iowa (AP) Milan Momcilovic scored 19 points as No. 23 Iowa State survived a heated game against Kansas State 78-67 on Wednesday night.

Keshon Gilbert added 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (15-4, 4-2 Big 12), who improved to 12-0 at home this season. Curtis Jones scored 18 points.

Arthur Kaluma led Kansas State (14-5, 4-2) with 16 points, as the Wildcats slipped from the top of the conference standings.

“Every game is going to be intense,” Jones said. “We've been preparing for that since June.”

Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger and Kansas State coach Jerome Tang appeared to have a heated exchange during the second half and a prolonged discussion during the postgame handshake line.

“Nothing happened,” Tang said. “We talked about a situation that took place during the game. He (Otzelberger) said he would check into it. I told him thank you and went on.”

Otzelberger also declined to elaborate.

Kansas State erased a 14-point, second-half lead by the Cyclones, tying the score on five different occasions. But the Wildcats never went ahead.

“It's so important that you don't relinquish that lead,” Otzelberger said. “Your confidence (grows) as you're out in front or they don't get over that hump.”

Deadlocked at 61, Hason Ward put Iowa State back on top for good with a dunk at the 4:09 mark. A 3-pointer from Jones made it 66-61 with 2:47 remaining.

“That basket gave us a lot of confidence,” Otzelberger said. “The crowd exploded, and we had some margin at that point. So, it was really big.”

Tang was given a technical foul with two minutes remaining, after protesting a foul call.

Momcilovic converted three free throws following the technical and followed with a 3-pointer that pushed Iowa State's lead to 72-62.

“I wasn't trying to get a tech,” Tang said. “I didn't say anything. I just thought it was a bad call and waved my arm. With the intensity of that game and that moment, I would think that we would all be given a little grace.”

Kansas State was sluggish, committing turnovers on each of its first three possessions and missing four of its first five shots. The Wildcats shot just one of eight from 3-point range in the first half.

Play was choppy as the teams were called for a combined 47 fouls and missed a combined 20 free throws.

“It was tough, because of a lot of free throws, a lot of fouls, a lot of stoppage, fans yelling or whatever,” Momcilovic said. “It was tough to really get into a groove.”

Momcilovic hit three of six shots from behind the 3-point arc and made 6 of 8 free throws.


Iowa State, which had won nine of its previous 11 games, benefited from the return of leading scorer Tamin Lipsey, who missed a game with a shoulder injury. Lipsey was averaging 14.5 points per game. He finished with eight points on 2-for-10 shooting Wednesday.

Kansas State was not among the seven Big 12 teams ranked this week, despite being tied atop the conference standings.


Kansas State visits No. 4 Houston on Saturday.

Iowa State hosts No. 7 Kansas on Saturday.


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