The #24 Iowa State Cyclones took on the #20 Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, MS, on January 26th at 11 am. This was one of the early games to kick off the Big XII - SEC Challenge. To say that the experts predicted this to be a key matchup a few months ago, would be an understatement. A top 25 game kicking off at 11 am!
Iowa State came in with a decent past few games with a tough road loss at Kansas on Monday. Ole Miss came into the game dropping one to ‘basketball’ Alabama. This game was cooked up to be a good one with Ole Miss favored by a point. A frickin’ point. Basically, nobody knew WTF was going to happen!
With that said, a very solid win occurred this late morning into early afternoon. A win on the road against a Top 25 team is a great resume builder, and fun. The Clones never trailed in this game. Ole Miss cut it to one point in the second half, but we FOR ONCE kept our foot on the accelerator.
First Half: The Cyclones started the usual line up today. THT started off hot and lead all scorers at the half with 15 points. The Cyclones increased their lead to as much as 12 with Ole Miss cutting it down to three at one point. The Cyclones lead at the half 43-38 shooting 62% FG and 44% from 3 PT Land. Ole Miss shot 34% from FG and 42% from 3 PT Land. The Rebels started off 2-12 with FG and luckily Iowa State could stay ahead at the end of the half as Ole Miss had nine offensive boards. THT played the most out of control-controlled half I’ve seen him play yet. Tyree from Ole Miss was behind THT with 13 points and Shayok started off quiet, but put up 10 in the first half. Haliburton had 6 assists.
Second Half: Ole Miss would come out ready and cut it to one early on, but we kept ‘er goin’! The Cyclones went on a few runs including some highlight reel ‘oops to Cam Lard and fast breaks. Lard found a slight rhytm within himself. To defeat his demons, a game like today for him was a step toward progress. It was an exciting second half. THT lead all scorers with 23 points. Wigginton scored 18 off the bench and began to find a flow with his teammates. NWB seemed to keep the offense going. NWB played 37 minutes with eight points, eight assists, and nine rebounds. The Cyclones played an entire 40 minutes and as a team.
Final Thoughts: The end of January has become a new tradition for this conference matchup. Do these games matter? Yes and no. They for sure are resume builders nonetheless. Today marks a solid win against a Top 25 opponent. Neither ISU nor Ole Miss were preseason contenders in their respective confereneces, but be prepared to see both these teams making some noise into the future of the season.
Thank you to those who attended our game watch, followed us on Twitter and chimed into the game thread. We planned a call in show but things began early, had some chow time, drank too much Fanta, and just wanted to relish the moment.
As always, proud to be a Cyclone! Let’s get drunk.