Tonight’s game felt like a must-win. Iowa State is in the teeth of a brutal stretch of away games against ranked opponents, and it doesn’t let up soon. Oklahoma State came in as the only Big 12 team without a conference win, and a home loss to the Cowboys would be derailing at this point in the season.
Iowa State had shot an abysmal 20% from 3 in the last two games, including a 3-22 showing in their most recent game against Texas Tech. Iowa State shot 11-24 at a blistering 45%.
Rasir Bolton got off to a hot start 3-3 for 9 points in the first five minutes. Iowa State has desperately needed a consistent perimeter threat, that the Cyclones can kick to from the low post or a drive to the basket. Bolton was exactly that tonight shooting 4-6 from three and 21 points.
Tyrese Halliburton looked very much like the 4th best NBA draft prospect in the nation tonight. His passing vision continues to amaze as he tallied up six assists. Halliburton went 6-9 from three point land (nice) and totaled 20 points.
But tonight’s best performance, undisputedly, went to Solomon Young. After starting the first two months of the season, Young was benched in favor of George Conditt. Both seem more comfortable coming off the bench.
Young played bully ball all night long. Oklahoma State couldn’t find an answer to Young’s low post game or his ability to get out in transition. Young also had his best defensive game of the year with 2 blocks and 5 defensive rebounds.
Solomon Young even flashed a smile.
Not everything was perfect. Caleb Grill continued to struggle in his freshman season shooting 0-4 on the night, and the Cyclones had 19 turnovers which led to Oklahoma State’s fast break offense. And this game had 47 fouls... brutal.
The Cyclones look ahead to the SEC challenge against Auburn. Auburn was a top 10 team before falling to rival Alabama. This will be their third road game against a ranked opponent in the last four games.