It was another big day for the Iowa State men’s basketball big four, overcoming a hot Akron team that was hitting on their 3-point shots at the start of the game.
Melvin Ejim, Georges Niang, Dustin Hogue, and DeAndre Kane were all that the Cyclones (10-0) needed to get past the Zips (6-3) with ease. They accounted for 76 of the teams 83 points. They also combined for 31 rebounds and 14 assists.
All of them stood out, but if there had to be just one player of the game honor, it would be given to Ejim. He had 21 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. Seven of his rebounds were on the offensive end. He shot 7-9 from the field, hit on all three 3-point field goal attempts, and went 4-4 from the free throw line.
In fact, the group of four all went 14-16 from the free throw line and made eight of the team’s nine 3-point field goals.
Demetrius Treadwell wasn’t enough for the Zips inside, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and a team-high three turnovers. He went 5-11 from the field and missed on his lone 3-point attempt.
Outside of hitting on 5 of 10 3-pointers to start, the Zips were completely overwhelmed for the majority of the game. They finished shooting 11 of 35 from the perimeter and couldn’t get anything established in the paint. Overall, they shot 37.5 percent from the field compared to the Cyclones’ astonishing 53.6 percent.
Akron also couldn’t get to the foul line, converting on just 1 of 6 free throws. On defense, they usually hold teams to an average of around 10 assists and 30 rebounds; the Cyclones finished with 20 assists (on 30 field goals made) and 40 boards.
An all-around smackdown will give Iowa State a chance to win the Diamond Head Classic on Christmas night. They will take on the winner of the South Carolina-Boise State semifinal. Tip-off is scheduled for 25 minutes after the 3rd-place game, around 7:55 PM CT.