Iowa State (6-2) jumped on Omaha (4-5) from the tip and recovered from a couple of losses to ranked foes with a blowout win at home. Deonte Burton started the onslaught with 13 straight points to begin the game. Burton would finish with a game-high 20 points on 72-percent shooting.
After struggling to hit from outside to start the season, the Cyclones buried 15 3-pointers, just two shy of the school record for a single game. Iowa State also continued their stellar defensive play, forcing 19 turnovers while allowing just 28.4-percent shooting from the Mavericks.
Burton got the Cyclones off to a strong start while displaying his offensive arsenal. Burton hit three 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the game while Iowa State took a 10-point lead that would grow to 27 with just more than eight minutes left in the first half. Iowa State led 48-22 at the half behind Burton’s 17 points.
The big lead allowed head coach Steve Prohm to try out several lineups and get some needed experience for some of Iowa State’s less experienced players. Donovan Jackson took advantage of extended playing time, burying five 3-pointers for a career-high 15 points.
- There was plenty of concern about Iowa State’s offense coming out of an OT loss to Cincinnati last week. The Cyclones scored just 54 points in 45 minutes and had only five assists on 22 field goals against the Bearcats. But ball movement was not an issue on Monday as they assisted on 22 of 33 field goals.
- Omaha was coming off a shocking upset at Iowa on Saturday, when they scored 98 points on the Big Ten team. Iowa’s defense is awful, but holding Omaha to 47 points is further proof that the Cyclone defense is as good as it’s been since 2005.
- Iowa State gave up 18 offensive rebounds to Omaha. That’s pretty scary considering the Cyclones still have to play Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas twice each. There’s not much ISU can do as the Cyclones simply don’t have the size to be a great rebounding team. Part of that disadvantage can be mitigated by forcing turnovers as they did Monday night.
- Freshman forward Solomon Young returned after missing four games with an injured hand. Young looked like his normal self, which means consistent effort and aggressive play inside. That’s a good sign, as starter Merrill Holden’s foul tendencies are here to stay. Young will be counted on to produce in big games sooner rather than later.
- Nick Weiler-Babb played 25 minutes off the bench, registering six points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Iowa State is a better team with Weiler-Babb on the court.
- Donovan Jackson looks more comfortable every game. As he adjusts to the speed of high-major D1 basketball, we’ll see more nights like tonight, when his offensive ability is a real asset for the Cyclones.
- One more shoutout for the defensive effort. The help defense, recovery and contested shots are fundamentals that have been missing for awhile at Hilton Coliseum. Defensive rotations come naturally to some groups. This appears to be one of them.
Next up: vs. Iowa (4-5) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2