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11/17/2013 8:14 PM EST
Iowa State beats No. 7 Michigan 77-70
IOWA ST 77, MICHIGAN 70

By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- While everyone focused on the debut of
Michigan's Mitch McGary, it was easy to forget that Iowa State
got Melvin Ejim back too.

In a matchup of returning stars, Ejim outshone McGary and led
the Cyclones to one of their biggest wins under coach Fred
Hoiberg.

Ejim returned after missing two games with a hyperextended knee
to score a game-high 22 points and Iowa State beat No. 7
Michigan 77-70 Sunday.

Naz Long added 16 for the Cyclones (3-0), who closed the game on
a 23-10 run and held McGary to just one point in the second
half.

"Melvin, I can't say enough about him. I told him in my office
(Saturday), `If you do get the green light, I'm going to
gradually ease you back into this thing - and I think I took him
out for two minutes in the second half. Pretty big-time
performance from Mel," Hoiberg said.

McGary, a preseason first-team All-American who missed two games
with a lower back injury, finished with nine points, six
rebounds and four steals in 22 minutes.

"It was good to be back. Trying to find the right chemistry on
the court. Typical first game, trying to find the right group of
guys, try to feel it out and have a good feel on the floor,"
McGary said.

Nik Stauskas led Michigan (2-1) with 20 points and Derrick
Walton Jr. had 13. Glenn Robinson III was held to 12 points on 4
of 14 shooting.

Michigan was just 8 of 29 from 3-point range and 4 of 9 on free
throws.

"We did not execute the way we had to. They changed a little bit
of pressure on their defense and blew up a couple of plays and
we panicked a little bit. Out of that still...we had really good
shots. They just didn't go down," Michigan coach John Beilein
said.

Michigan kept threatening to pull away from the Cyclones in the
second half - especially with Iowa State forward Georges Niang
on the bench with four fouls.

Ejim kept the Wolverines from doing it.

Stauskas took a loose ball and flushed it home with an emphatic
one-handed dunk, only to watch Ejim answer with a 3. Spike
Albrecht then hit a layup, and Ejim responded with a jumper.

Iowa State's DeAndre Kane followed with a 3, and Long's 3 capped
a 13-2 run that gave the Cyclones a 67-62 lead with 5:00 left.

Kane had 13 points and six assists and Dustin Hogue added 12
points and 10 rebounds.

"It was fun to be back," Ejim said. "I've been working hard
throughout the offseason, getting tons of shots up and working
on my game. So I expected to be a little better. But this was a
great game. I was feeling it."

When McGary and Ejim entered play together with 16:17 left in
the first half, no one was quite sure how healthy either one of
them was.

But by the end of the half, it was clear that McGary and Ejim
were the two best players on the floor.

McGary jumped a passing lane and maneuvered through Iowa State's
defense for a transition layup, one of four field goals he had
in the first half alone. Ejim, a preseason first-team All-Big 12
pick, gave the Cyclones a huge boost off the bench with 12
points and five boards his first 10 minutes of action.

McGary couldn't keep it up in the second half though - while
Ejim helped key Iowa State's late surge.

"He just crashed the glass hard. He's a high motor type of guy,"
McGary said of Ejim. "He's a great player, and he did well for
them."

Ejim's return was among the many reasons why Sunday's matinee
was one of the biggest non-conference games Iowa State has ever
hosted.

Hilton Coliseum sold out in less than 10 minutes when tickets
went on sale last month. A school-record 22 NBA scouts requested
credentials as well, no doubt hoping to get a glimpse of McGary
and Robinson.

The Cyclones also brought back former coach Johnny Orr, who left
Michigan for the Cyclones in 1981.

Though Michigan looked to be on the verge of taking over more
than once, Iowa State rallied to score a win that'll likely come
in handy come March.

"This is huge for our program, for our fans to see our team
winning like this. This is huge for them, to camp out all night
and to see this, it's just awesome," Niang said. "I'm excited
for the things that are in the future for us."

---

Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP

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