Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Sports Briefs

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Sports Briefs

Article excerpt

DENVER -- Georges Niang is going back to the Sweet 16, and this time he won't be in a walking boot.

The senior forward's dominant performance helped Iowa State roll over Little Rock 78-61 on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"Yeah, he's a pro," Little Rock coach Chris Beard said. "He's going to play on TNT. I think he'll play in the NBA."

His college career will last at least another week.

"This is sweet," said Niang, revealing that teammate Naz Long razzed him before the game, suggesting he "didn't earn the last Sweet 16 you were in" after breaking his right foot in the opening round his sophomore season.

"I made sure to tell him I earned this one," said Niang, who scored 28 points for the second time in three nights and pulled down six defensive rebounds while helping keep Trojans guard Josh Hagins from another second-half scoring outburst like he had against Purdue.

In 2014, Niang watched his teammates edge North Carolina without him in the second round before losing to UConn. He'll be on the court next weekend in Chicago when the Cyclones (23-11) face top- seeded Virginia in the Midwest Regional semifinals. The Cavaliers advanced with a 77-69 victory over Butler.

"It's going to be awesome," Niang said. "I'm really excited. This is what you work for. Being a little kid, just dreaming about playing in situations like this, or playing in moments like this."

Niang, the winningest player (97) in Cyclones history and Iowa State's only two-time All-American, was simply too much for the 12th- seeded Trojans (30-5) of the Sun Belt.

For the second straight game, Hagins had just two points at halftime.

Unlike last time, when he went off for 29 more in a double- overtime win against Purdue, Hagins added just six after the break.

Niang responded by doing all of the heavy work in a 10-0 spurt that helped the Cyclones grab control for good.

He sank a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, marking his 43rd consecutive game in double figures. …

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