Iowa State kicked off the Maui Invitational playing in front of an impressive crowd. It was a fun game throughout. For the most part, the entire game was back-and-forth and really gritty.
Both teams got off to a slow start. They were knotted at 20 before Iowa State went on a run and dominated the next part of the game. The Cyclones, led by Marial Shayok and Talen Horton-Tucker, finished the first half on a 16-7 run to give Iowa State a 36-27 lead going into the locker room.
The Cyclones continued to play very hard and got their biggest lead up to 10. Nick Weiler-Babb was the one who lead the charge at the beginning of that half. He hit two big threes and was apart of an offense that was moving the ball and getting buckets.
That was until the fatigue kicked in. It was obvious that over the last quarter of the game, Iowa State got really tired. Arizona started to get hot and Iowa State’s shots weren’t falling anymore. The Wildcats started to inch back into the game before completely taking over.
Arizona took their first lead of the second half with 1:49 remaining and never looked back. Iowa State suffered from bad decisions, missed shots, and a couple questionable calls down the stretch. Meanwhile, Arizona knocked down their free throws and got stops when needed. They won the game 71-66.
It was a very frustrating loss, because Iowa State probably should of won. But, we saw a glimpse of what this team could be. Shayok had 19, Horton-Tucker and Jacobson both had 16, and Weiler-Babb had 13. They played really well for 75% of this game with intensity on both sides of the floor. Not making excuses, they need to execute down the strech. But that will get much easier once they get Wigginton, Lard, Young, and Talley back.
These young pups are just figuring out what they can do on the floor and will only get better. They will get their next chance at a win tomorrow night at 7 against the loser of Gonzaga/Illinois.