Iowa State started slowly against Georgia State, but geared up at the half to ultimately win the game 81-58.
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As I predicted in my players to watch, R.J. Hunter kept the Panthers in the game with 21 points. He hit some tough shots and generally looked super smooth as helped his team be down only 35-29 going into the locker room.
He was largely the only bright spot, however, as Iowa State came out firing in the second half. Dustin Hogue‘s motor powered through people all night long and eventually Bryce Dejean-Jones, Naz Long, and Monte Morris started hitting threes and making hustle plays to put GSU away.
Dejean-Jones will get a lot of hype for tonight and is looking like a front-runner for Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, but I’m giving my props to Monte Morris. His assignment, Ryan Harrow, scored 12 points, but it took him 22 shots to get there. Morris kept him bottled up most of the game and helped force Harrow into five turnovers, which equaled the number of assists for the GSU guard. He also came alive in the second half on offense with several great finishes and shots. He finished the game with 19 points, 9 assists, and no turnovers.
Nov 17, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Georgia State Panthers forwardT.J. Shipes
(31) and Iowa State Cyclones forward Dustin Hogue (22) battle for a rebound at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Georgia State 81-58. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Georges Niang only had 10 points (with 11 rebounds), but with Hogue and Long doing their thing inside and out it was not necessary. I’m extremely happy to see that even without our consensus All-American, ISU has more than enough firepower to keep things rolling.
A couple other things to note — it was another classic slow start for the team that kept Georgia State in the game longer than it might have been otherwise. GSU is a quality opponent, but there’s no reason for a team with as much talent as ISU to show the kind of stagnant play that can occasionally crop up. The short rotation, using only Sherron Dorsey-Walker, was also mildly concerning. But with Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader coming off suspension for Alabama, the bench should expand over time.
It was a fun game to watch and showcased what the team can do against a pesky squad. There is a week layoff until Alabama, so there is plenty of time to incorporate two more players into the scheme.