After another slow start by Iowa State, both them and Boise State picked things up for a thrilling conclusion at the 2013 Diamond Head Classic.
The Cyclones (11-0) became the 2013 Diamond Head Classic champion, thanks again to the domination of the big four. Melvin Ejim recorded another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and he almost had an unofficial triple-double but missed his 10th free throw attempt after making nine straight.
Georges Niang broke his streak of 20-plus point performances, but he still had 16 points and drilled two 3-point shots after having foul trouble early in the game. Both him and Ejim had three fouls within the first four minutes of the second half, but Fred Hoiberg kept them in the game and that gave the Cyclones their spark take control of the game.
Tonight’s star was DeAndre Kane, who fixed some of his shooting woes with a team-high 23 points, making 8 of 14 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Before tonight, Kane made just five 3-pointers on the season. Also add five rebounds, two assists, and a block to his stat line.
For the Broncos (10-3), they played great but fell one player short of getting the victory. Guards Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks were incredible. Drmic overcame a tough start shooting the ball but finished with 6 of 15 field goals, four of those made from beyond the arch. Marks went 9 of 18 from the field and matched Kane’s point total of 23.
The usually-reliable 3-point shooter, Jeff Elorriaga, had foul trouble early and went just 0-2 from the field (both from the perimeter). Late in the game, Elorriaga made three the hard way after getting fouled. Those were the only three points on the night for him.
Overall, the Cyclones didn’t shoot the ball well at all. They finished with 38.9 percent from the field, but started 4 of 18 and also made just one field goal in the final eight minutes of the game.
It was Iowa State’s aggressiveness in the second half that picked up the game with a better pace. They were able to get better 3-point shots and get to the foul line (shot 14 more attempts than Boise State). However, this was one of the Cyclones’ poorer performances when it came to sharing the ball. They finished with seven assists on 21 field goals made.
Despite some serious flaws with slow starts and becoming essentially four-deep, starting 11-0 is nothing to scoff at. Iowa State will try to keep their winning ways going with a final non-conference game against Northern Illinois next Tuesday. Tip-off is at 6:00 PM Central time at Hilton Coliseum.