In the previous five meetings combined between the Iowa State Cyclones and Oklahoma Sooners, games were, on average, decided by just 3.8 points. While recent history shows the two teams tend to play close, Iowa State was able to pull away early in the second half and thump the Sooners for an 80-64 victory.
Freshman Solomon Young got his first start of the season for Iowa State as the Cyclones started the game much differently than their previous game against the Texas Longhorns, grabbing a 28-20 lead over Oklahoma before the Sooners came roaring back and took a 29-28 lead. Fortunately, the Cyclones, sparked by a couple threes, ended the half on a 10-0 run and went into the break with a 38-29 lead.
The three-point ball was key for ISU in the first half, as seniors Naz Mitrou-Long and Matt Thomas combined to go 7-12 from deep while the rest of the team could muster just six field goals inside the arc. The defense also came up big, limiting the Sooners to shooting just 31% from the field and forcing nine turnovers.
The second half didn’t start as great for the Cyclones. The Sooners started out with a 12-3 run with the assistance of two nice blocks by Sooner junior Khadeem Lattin. Oklahoma started out the half shooting 5-6 while the Cyclones started out 1-7.
The tide began to change after a Burton block that sent the ball to halfcourt, appearing to give Iowa State a much needed energy boost, resulting in a 13-2 run for Iowa State before Oklahoma’s Jordan Shepard was able to end the run on a jumper. Solomon Young struck back with a deep two, and shortly after muscled his way between two defenders to add two more points right under the hoop and Iowa State held a 62-45 lead with 7:31 remaining in the game.
Donovan Jackson had some exciting moments following the under-8 timeout, drilling back-to-back threes to put the Cyclones up 20. But the Sooners weren’t going to give up, going on an 8-0 run before Monte Morris was able to convert an and-one that started on a nice layup move, followed by a three from Thomas. After some back and forth, Iowa State was able to close out the game with an 80-64 victory to comple the regular season sweep over Oklahoma.
Oklahoma freshman Kameron McGusty and sophomore Rashard Odomes were the only two Sooners to finish in double figures, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Mitrou-Long was the star of the night for the Cyclones, putting up 23 points, 15 of which came from behind the arc. Not far behind was Thomas, who scored 13 points and went 4-5 from deep. Morris was an assist shy from a double-double, with 13 points and 9 assists while committing no turnovers. Deonte Burton, who had a rough first half going 1-6 from the field, finished strong, shooting 3-4 from the field in the second half while blocking 4 Sooner shots.
Young made a solid case to stay in the starting rotation while nabbing 2 rebounds, The 6’8” freshman scored 8 points, blocked two shots, and made it difficult for Oklahoma to play down low. He and Bowie combined to be the 5 for 34 minutes during the night. While Coach Steve Prohm seemed to have cleared the bench, one player noticeably absent from entering the game tonight (though sitting on the bench) was big man Merrill Holden.
The Cyclones head to Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas on Wednesday night to take on the Kansas State Wildcats at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.