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Northern Iowa rallies to clip Iowa State 63-60

Dec 3, 2009 - 3:23 AM By LUKE MEREDITH AP Sports Writer

AMES, Iowa(AP) -- Ali Farokhmanesh buried a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left and Northern Iowa rallied to beat host Iowa State 63-60 Wednesday night for its third win in four tries against former Panthers coach Greg McDermott.

Adam Koch and Jordan Eglseder each had 20 points to lead the Panthers (5-1), who have won four straight overall.

Farokhmanesh's late 3-pointer put Northern Iowa ahead 61-59. Kwadzo Ahelegbe's free throws made it 63-60 with 15 seconds left, and Iowa State's Craig Brackins missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied it.

Diante Garrett had 15 points to lead the Cyclones (6-2), who have lost twice after a 6-0 start. Brackins had 13 points and nine rebounds, but he failed to hit a field goal in the second half.

Both teams had trouble scoring in the final four minutes until Farokhmanesh's crucial 23-footer put the Panthers ahead. The Cyclones' LaRon Dendy, not known as much of a perimeter shooter, set up Farokhmanesh's 3 by putting up an airball on an open jumper on the other end.

Garrett had a chance to tie the game with 16 seconds left, but he missed the first of two free throws and Iowa State was forced to send Ahelegbe to the line.

The Panthers held Brackins scoreless for nearly 17 minutes in the second half, but he hit a pair of free throws to give Iowa State a 59-58 lead with 3:02 left.

Northern Iowa opened the second half on a 12-4 run, punctuated by 3-pointers from Adam Koch and Ali Farokhmanesh, to retake the lead, 43-40. Garrett and Scott Christopherson responded with quick 3s to put the Cyclones back on top, 46-43, with 13:58 left.

Iowa State maintained a slim lead - despite Brackins' offensive struggles - until Eglseder's putback put the Panthers back ahead 58-57 with 4:09 left.

The Cyclones didn't score from the floor in the final 6 1/2 minutes.

Iowa State held Northern Iowa to just 1-of-7 shooting from 3-point range and one assist in the first half, and Garrett's runner just before the halftime buzzer gave the Cyclones a 36-31 lead.

The Panthers stayed close by grabbing 10 offensive rebounds in the half, including five by Eglseder.

A Cyclones official said reserve forward L.A. Pomlee was out for Wednesday night's game because of a violation of team policy.

Iowa State also lost senior forward Jamie Vanderbeken to a leg injury in the second half.