Perhaps all the heartbreaking losses finally took a toll on the Iowa State men’s basketball team. Instead of using the tough loss against Kansas to fuel another winning streak, the Cyclones come out flat and the Oklahoma Sooners dominate at home.
Oklahoma (19-9, 10-6) crushed their old record of most consecutive free-throws made in a single game and tied the NCAA Division I record. Originally with 21 straight made, the Sooners made all 34 free throw attempts, had 17 assists, and committed just five turnovers in a near-flawless game offensively. Romero Osby looked much better when compared to his effort in Hilton Coliseum, leading the team with 22 points, nine rebounds, and made 10 free throws.
In just his fourth start of the year, senior guard Sam Grooms had 19 points and six assists for Oklahoma. He won a starting job after better performance in the past few weeks.
The same can’t be said about the performance of Iowa State (19-10, 9-7). All the starters lacked effort with the exception of a couple 3-pointers nailed by Georges Niang in the second half. He led the starters with 10 points and five rebounds, Melvin Ejim has the same offensive production with four rebounds.
Will Clyburn, Korie Lucious, and Chris Babb were nearly non-existent. Clyburn went 1-5 from the field, Luious had an even assist-to-turnover ratio, and Babb missed all four of his shots. If it wasn’t for the effort from the bench, this game could have been much worse.
Tyrus McGee led the team with 22 points and made 6-9 shots from the perimeter. Bubu Palo had 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists. When a bench player that’s missed a lot of the season has the same amount of assists as Lucious and boards as Ejim, along with outscoring both of them, that’s really all that needs to be said about the effort today overall.
This was the worst overall performance the Iowa State Cyclones have had all season long, both offensively and defensively. This includes the disaster in Lubbock against Texas Tech.
Right now, Iowa State has damaged their NCAA tournament hopes. A win over Oklahoma State would likely put them in, and they can’t stumble in a tough road game at West Virginia to close out the regular season.