Iowa State never likes to make it easy, but the men’s basketball team was able to overcome a slow start in the second half to preserve a huge victory over Kansas State.
Jan 4, 2014; Lubbock, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Dustin Hogue (22) scores above the Texas Tech Red Raiders defense in the first half at United Spirit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Dustin Hogue was a monster in the second half after sitting out most of the first half with foul trouble. He finished the day with eight points and 12 boards, dominating on the glass when the Cyclones (15-3, 3-3) lost another battle on the boards overall 37-35.
Melvin Ejim led the team with 20 points and was able to get 10 of those from the free throw line. Despite having four fouls of his own, and his third coming with about nine minutes to go in the game, he was still aggressive and stayed out on the court for most of the action. He also finished with nine boards; every other Iowa State player outside of Hogue had five total rebounds or less.
Georges Niang had another great offensive day, mostly in the first half. He led scoring with 15 points at halftime and drilled another three in the second half to finish 4-of-6 from 3-point range and had 18 points on the day, along with four assists, two steals, and a block. Overall, the Cyclones shot 9-of-18 from the perimeter, a 50-percent clip that we haven’t seen this team get close to in recent games.
Also notable, Iowa State didn’t stick with shooting 3-pointers. Those 18 attempts are well below their 25.6 attempts per game coming into this one.
The Wildcats (14-6, 4-3) shot well from 3-point range too (making 9-of-22) and stayed with the Cyclones despite many times when it looked they would finally get ran out of the arena. Despite having less turnovers, Iowa State was able to score on key turnovers and getting to the line 12 more times were the reasons why the Cyclones were able to end their three-game losing streak.
Marcus Foster was Kansas State’s best player today, leading the team with 20 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals, but he also had five turnovers. Will Spralding hit 4-of-6 3-pointers, which counted for all of his field goal attempts.
Iowa State will try to find some way to get a winning streak going as they head to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night to take on the surging Kansas Jayhawks. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM Central time and it will be televised on ESPNU.