Iowa State men upset #25 Xavier in NIT Season Tip-Off opener

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Iowa State’s Izaiah Brockington reacts during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Xavier in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

BROOKLYN (Iowa State Athletics) – Izaiah Brockington had a career-high 30 points and rookie Tyrese Hunter posted a career-best 19 points to pace Iowa State (5-0, 0-0 Big 12) to an 82-70 victory over No. 25 Xavier (4-1, 0-0 Big East) Wednesday in the Upsie NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center.

Brockington, who was 12-of-19 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, tallied 23 points in the second half to help the Cyclones overcome a halftime deficit. He is the Cyclones’ first 30-point scorer since Lindell Wigginton drained 30 points vs. Baylor in 2018.

Hunter racked up two dimes and had five steals, tying for the second-most thefts by a freshman in school history.

The Cyclones forced 17 turnovers and shot 51.5 percent from the floor to record their first triumph over a ranked opponent since Dec. 8, 2019 (Seton Hall).

George Conditt IV added 10 points (5-7 FG) and grabbed five boards.

Hunter had a trio of 3-pointers to help the Cyclones mount a double-digit lead in the first half, but a 12-2 run by the Musketeers late in the opening stanza gave Xavier a narrow one-point lead at the break (39-38).

Iowa State opened the second half with nine-straight points behind a pair of buckets from Brockington for a quick strike and 47-39 lead.

Brockington then took over, scoring nine points in a three-minute stretch to help the Cyclone lead balloon to 62-48 with 12:31 left in the game.

XU trimmed the deficit to six points (66-61), but a key 7-0 run capped off by a Tre Jackson 3-pointer enabled the Cyclones to further their lead to 73-61 with 5:53 remaining.

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