Steve Prohm decided to role with the same starting lineup for Saturday’s Big 12-SEC challenge–following Solomon Young’s breakout performance Tuesday night.
After a quick 4-0 lead for Iowa State, Auburn woke up quickly. The Tigers made their first four three point attempts of the game, and took a 12-6 lead as we went to the first media timeout.
The Cyclones year-long defensive struggles from behind the three-point line would continue. The 2019 final four participant Tigers’ lead would balloon to an 11 point advantage. Iowa State trailed 29-18 with just under eight minutes left in the half.
ISU’s trio of Rasir Bolton, Tyrese Haliburton, and Prentiss Nixon was about the only offense they could find in the first half. The trio of guards would combine for 21 of Iowa State’s 31 first half points.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but the first half deficit was due in part to the same problems the Cyclones have had all season. Their three-point defense was very poor as they allowed Auburn to shoot 9-20 (45%) from behind the line as a team. While on their own, Iowa State finished 4-17 (23.5%) from behind the line as a team for the first 20 minutes. As Auburn lead 42-31 heading into the locker room.
The second half started sloppy for both teams. There were fouls and turnovers all over the place as the deficit was 13 for Iowa State with 16:00 remaining.
After the deficit grew to 17. The Cyclones put together quite the run midway through the second 20 minutes. Solomon Young and Terrance Lewis came in and gave Iowa State some hard minutes. The duo would cut the deficit to only seven with 10 minutes left, but it wouldn’t get lower than nine for much of the second half.
There was one last gasp for air, as the Cyclones cut the into the lead and only trailed by five with just under a minute left thanks to a Rasir Bolton three.
Samir Doughty had a costly blocking foul for Auburn with 20 seconds left, as Rasir Bolton went to the free throw line. He would go 1 of 2 and Iowa State trailed by four with 15 seconds left.
Iowa State got a steal and had the ball back. Terrance Lewis missed a wide open three in the corner and it looked tough for ISU with under 10 seconds left. Iowa State would fall 76-80.