Forward Melvin Ejim wasn't expected to play until December because of a knee injury, but the senior forward made a surprise return to the court Sunday to lead the Iowa State Cyclones to an upset 77-70 win over the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg only went seven players deep, but it was Ejim who did all of the damage in front of a rowdy James H. Hilton Coliseum crowd. Ejim came off the bench and led the Cyclones with 22 points, nine rebounds and three steals, and he got help from four Iowa State starters who reached double figures.
But the favorite Wolverines played ahead and with the Cyclones for much of the game.
Ten minutes into the game, Michigan led 24-15 before Iowa State pushed back with an 8-0 run over the next five minutes. The Cyclones went into the halftime break with a bit of momentum and a 35-34 lead.
The second half was a back-and-forth ordeal, but with the Wolverines leading 62-59 and eight minutes left in the game, the Cyclones ran off eight straight once again to take a five-point lead with just over five minutes left in the game. That lead would hold, because it was ISU that made the most out of its opportunities down the stretch.
Michigan got 20 points and six assists from sophomore guard Nik Stauskas, while Glenn Robinson III finished with 12 points and seven boards. Forward Mitch McGary came off the bench in his first game of the season. He scored nine points and added six rebounds in his return from a back injury.