Iowa State was able to avoid an embarrassing night at the hands of the frisky Cougars. The Cougars would leave Hilton empty handed down 30 at last call, only bringing an L back to their bedrooms. The Cougars will be back on the prowl in Des Moines tomorrow, and hopefully for them, they’ll be able to get lucky with the Drake Bulldogs.
Iowa State started off to an early 20-4 lead, but a mixture of stagnant offense and foul trouble stopped the Cyclones from turning this one into a rout. The defensive intensity shined at times tonight; Tre Jackson played exceptional defense all night. Iowa State had an 11-point lead in a low scoring first half.
Tristan Enaruna’s flashes of talent were apparent at times. He moves so well for his size, and has a beautiful slithery euro-step. He had a career high 19 points for the Cyclones on an uber efficient 8-10 from the field making a strong case for the best player tonight. Caleb Grill shot 50% from 3-point land tonight going 3-6 from the arc.
Iowa State’s ‘Big 3’ of Izaiah Brockington, Gabe Kalscheur, and Tyrese Hunter shot a rough 10-29 from the field and Hunter continues to struggle from 3. Hunter’s dynamic pick n’ roll offense becomes obsolete when a team like Chicago State plays zone and dares the Cyclones to sit back and shoot 3’s.
Even though not all of the Cyclones were blasting on full cylinders, they were able to find a way to win the game. Brockington on an ‘off-night’ still managed a 20-point double double, and was a pitbull on defense all night long.
The Cyclones are in some rare air for their next matchup. It’s not often that two teams in conference play square off in an undefeated matchup. The Cyclones will host the reigning national champions, the Baylor Bears, on New Year’s Day in Hilton Coliseum. It’ll be a top 10 matchup on a day dedicated to college football, but rest assured, Ames, Iowa will be the epicenter of college basketball on January 1st. Let’s get weird.