Iowa State needed a pick-me-up from such a disappointing loss over Maryland in Kansas City last week. A slow start against Lamar didn’t do it, but a dominate victory over a top-25 team will do it.
Outside of a lull in the middle of the second half where Iowa State turned it over a lot, they were incredibly dominant against a good Arkansas team. Bryce Dejean-Jones and Georges Niang led the way with 27 and 26 points, respectively. This time, Niang flirted with a triple-double adding eight assists and six rebounds.
Formerly known as the guy who played an old white man game, Niang damn near had a perfect night. Adding to his great stat line, Niang was 9 of 12 from the field, 2 of 3 from downtown, and nailed all six free throws. Not to be outdone, BDJ hit ALL EIGHT SHOTS from the field, including FOUR 3-pointers. He also went 7 for 8 from the charity stripe. Averaging 2.4 turnovers a game, BDJ actually had less turnovers (1) than Monte Morris (2).
Dec 4, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks forward Alandise Harris (2) blocks the shot of Iowa State Cyclones guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (13) at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
An honorable mention goes to Naz Long, who actually led the team in rebounds with seven and hit three 3-pointers.
Iowa State started really hot shooting and it never really let up — just in the moments where they gave Arkansas extra possessions. The Cyclones shot 64 percent from the field. After Arkansas had their 11th turnover in the opening moments of the second half, Iowa State turned the ball over seven times before the Razorbacks had their next cough up.
Another thing that contributed to Arkansas’ comeback attempt was perimeter shooting improvement. They started 2 for 9 from the 3-point line, then 7 for 12 before missing their last four attempts.
Arkansas dominated on the offensive boards 9 to 2, but Iowa State was able to get to the free throw line. They had more makes from the charity stripe (21) than the Razorbacks had attempts (19).
More from Men's Basketball
- Iowa State basketball: Comeback over Iowa receives wrong attention
- Iowa State men’s basketball: Thank you, Fred Hoiberg
- Iowa State basketball: Never doubt Hilton Magic
- Iowa State Basketball: Cyclones gearing up for end of season
- Iowa State basketball: Cyclones destroy Texas Tech in Jameel McKay’s first start
It was a clear-cut victory that wasn’t perfect, but very impressive. It’s hard to shoot better than this, and it was great to see Niang and BDJ click so well out there. Iowa State didn’t even need much help from their bench, who finished with seven points.
The Big 12 has a large 4-1 advantage over the SEC after Thursday night (West Virginia falling to LSU at home the only knock). Iowa State will resume play on Tuesday when the host UMKC. Tipoff will be a little earlier than usual at 6:00 PM Central time and it will be televised on ESPNU.