Iowa State held the Broncos at arm length for the entire game. The Cyclones got off to an early 17-3 lead, and Western Michigan would have a hard time making things interesting after that initial scoring run.
It was an incredibly balanced first half with no Cyclone in double digits at the break. Iowa State would lead it 37-23, and as the preview guessed, outside of Lamar Norman Jr. points were hard to come by for directional Michigan. Norman Jr. finished with 24 of the Broncos’ 57 points on 8/15 shooting. The Broncos did hit some tough three-point shots, but even the most pessimistic Cyclone fan can’t find too much to complain about here.
Iowa State shot a really solid 63% from the field, and we won’t be able to say this too many more times the rest of the season, the Cyclones had a better 3-pt% than the opposing team. Albeit by 0.7%
Tre King had 16 minutes in his first game coming off the bench and played a really solid game; 5-6 from the field to fill up 11 points. King was one of three bench players in double digits today along with Kalscheur and Robert Jones. Caleb Grill led the team in scoring with 14 points and shot 60% from 3.
Iowa State only has one more tune up game before that dreaded Big 12 schedule starts and throws this team into the fire. They play Omaha on Wednesday before their Big 12 home opener against Baylor on New Year’s Eve. Iowa State presumably going 10-2 in non-conference leaves us hoping for nothing worse than 6-12 in Big 12 play.
But in a 10-team league where 9 teams are projected to make the tournament as of now, any win from here on out is of high quality. Rebound, force the issue, and play our speed and I think Otz and the Cyclones will be hearing their names on Selection Sunday. We’re a long way away, but March always looms.