It was another close battle in the first half, but Iowa State clearly showed why they’re one of the favorites to win the Big 12 by completely shutting down a good Georgia State team in the second half.
Bryce Dejean-Jones finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, but the main storyline of his game was completely shutting down the Sun Belt preseason player of the year, R.J. Hunter. Hunter ended up with 21 points but most of that was in the first half. BDJ forced turnovers and the junior guard ended up shooting 8 for 20 from the field.
Iowa State’s defense also held Ryan Harrow to making 6 of 22 field goals and going 0 for 5 from downtown. Kevin Ware made just one of his six attempts. The entire starting lineup, including forwards Curtis Washington and Markus Crider, played extremely well in the first half. Georges Niang was sluggish out of the gate and didn’t make his first points until around 12 minutes into the game.
Nov 17, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (13) sets up the offense against the Georgia State Panthers at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Interestingly enough, despite having just four points in the first half, Niang ended up with a double-double — 10 points and 11 rebounds. Dustin Hogue led the way offensively in the first half with 10 points, finishing up with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Despite BDJ looking brilliant on both ends of the court, I’d have to give a game ball to Monte Morris. The point guard was nearly perfect from beginning to end. He finished with 19 points, nine assists, and five rebounds. Naturally, all nine assists came with zero turnovers. Just another day in the office for the brilliant guard that doesn’t seem to make many wrong decisions.
We also can’t forget Naz Long, who sparked the pullaway in the second half with his perimeter shooting. He went 5 for 12 from downtown, only attempting one basket and made it when he went inside. The sniper from downtown was on his game again when the rest of the team went 3 for 15 from 3-point range.
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The assists to field goals made ratio was more in Iowa State’s ballpark compared to the game against Oakland. The Cyclones made 29 field goals on 23 assists, and they turned it over as a team just 11 times. Georgia State had a relatively clean game too, but they ended up with just five attempts from the free-throw line and completed just 39.1 percent of their field goals.
Iowa State moves to 2-0 on the season and will have a week off before heading to Kansas City to take on Alabama in the CBE Classic on Monday night. It will be the second game of a doubleheader, so tipoff will be approximately at 8:30 PM Central time on ESPN2. They will play Arizona State or Maryland in the third place or championship game the following night with a time and network to be announced after the game.