You know, it shouldn't be shocking that #14 Iowa State dismantled a good Georgia State team like they did, but wow, what a second half. After a back-and-forth first half that saw Iowa State lead by just six at the break, the Cyclones crushed the upset-minded Panthers in the second stanza, en route to an impressive, 81-58 beatdown of a very good mid-major program.
Once again, it was a balanced effort out of Iowa State offensively as all five starters reached double figures in scoring, led by Monte Morris' 19 points. Morris wasn't just a scoring threat, however, as the super sophomore also dished out nine assists and grabbed five rebounds. Much like his reputation would suggest, Morris displayed excellent ball control as he played turnover-free ball.
As easy as it would be to talk about how prolific Iowa State's offense was in the second half, it was the defensive effort that allowed the Cyclones to come away with a blowout victory. After giving up 82 points to Oakland in the opener, Iowa State held a very good Georgia State offense to just 58 points and 39.1% shooting from the floor. The Panthers were also ice cold from the perimeter hitting only 5-19 (26.3%) from deep. Iowa State also forced 15 turnovers and Georgia State only attempted five free throws on the night.
Panther's star R.J. Hunter did notch 21 points, but it took him 20 shots to get there and the other half of Georgia State's star back court duo, Ryan Harrow, shot 6-22 on the night and 0-5 from deep. Credit has to go to Morris, Naz Long, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Sherron Dorsey Walker for holding the high-scoring pair to 14-42 combined shooting.
On the offensive end of the floor, Iowa State needed a balanced effort to pick up a rare off night from Georges Niang and aside from Morris' breakout night, Long, Dejean-Jones and Dustin Hogue led the way. Long was lethal from outside, shaking off an 0-3 start to hit 5-12 from deep as he scored 17 points. Dejean-Jones was brilliant in all aspects of the game, putting up a very DeAndre Kane-like 15 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. He also recorded 2 steals and 2 blocks. As for Hogue, what an effort out of the senior. Georgia State had no answer for Hogue in the post as he went for 15 points and 7 rebounds.
As mentioned, Niang struggled and forced the action most of the night, but did put up a double-double as he chipped in 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He has 20 rebounds in two games. For reference, it took him until game number four last year to reach that total.
Fred Hoiberg once again elected to go with a 7-man rotation. Daniel Edozie and Dorsey-Walker weren't great by any means, but each played with confidence and gave The Mayor quality minutes off the bench.
Iowa State will take the rest of the week off and will return to action next Monday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City as part of the CBE Classic. You might remember that the last time Iowa State played in this building, they just so happened to cut down the nets. The Cyclones will square off against Alabama at 8:30 PM CST and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Abdel Nader and Matt Thomas will make their season debuts.