Last week the upstart Cyclones had a dreadful week getting embarrassed in the 2nd half on the road in Lubbock losing 72-60 to the Red Raiders. The score doesn’t accurately reflect how much of a beat down the Red Raiders put on the Cyclones in the 2nd half of that game. Most of the damage came from the line as Tech shot 29-38 from the charity stripe compared to only 15 free throw attempts for the Cyclones. If you watched the game you know that ISU did a horrible job of attacking the basket and putting pressure on the Tech defense while Tech did just the opposite.
After suffering the tough loss in Lubbock, many thought Iowa State would bounce back and take advantage of having a home game against TCU. Just the opposite. It’s as if the Cyclones just looked worn down and exhausted from the grueling 6 game stretch they had to start their Big 12 season. TCU came out firing and ready to play. They had a lot of contributions all around but none bigger than the unsung hero, Damion Baugh. Baugh went off for 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. His biggest contribution came on the defensive end where Baugh had 7 steals that led to many run-outs for TCU. The Cyclones ended up losing 59-44, the lowest amount of points ever scored inside of Hilton Coliseum. The loss dropped them to 14-5 and 2-5 in conference play.
However, Iowa State went on the road down to Stillwater Wednesday and bounced back. Izaiah Brockington and Avery Anderson battled back and forth throughout the night. Brockington went off for 26 while Anderson scored a career-high 34 as the Cyclones won a shootout (who would have thought we’d ever say that) 84-81 in OT. The Cyclones’ offense looked substantially better. They did what they did best, attacked the basket and kicked it out for short jumpers or finished at the rim. The Cyclones hit 12 3’s that night including 5 from junior guard Caleb Grill off the bench. We also saw a big-time performance from Tyrese Hunter. Hunter broke out offensively, attacking the basket with ease and finishing at the rim. He even knocked down three 3’s.
Saturday afternoon the Cyclones squared off against former Big 8 rival, Missouri. While the former rivals played a close game in the first half, Missouri even led down the stretch of the half. However, Iowa State came out strong on defense playing their best defense they’ve played in the last couple of weeks. Iowa State only allowed 21 points in the second half Saturday afternoon. The Cyclones also forced 18 turnovers to help lead the way to a second straight victory. Hunter and Brockington had strong performances again for the second straight game, but the performance of the day came from Alijaz Kunc. Kunc snapped a scoring drought over the last 3 games putting up 11 points on 4-7 shooting and 3-5 from downtown. Iowa State won 67-50 to improve to 16-5 on the year.
Iowa State looks to keep adding to their 2 game win streak as they take on Kansas in Ames and travel to Austin where they look to sweep the Longhorns in the regular-season series.