The only thing that I could think of when ISU and Iowa took the court was the Blue Oyster Cult song, ‘The Red and The Black”, what with both teams opting into their dark uniforms. However, once the game started, I only watched as Iowa State basketball gutted out the first half and crushed in the second to win 90-75.
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The Cyclones played the game without start transfer, Bryce Dejean-Jones, due to suspension, but everyone stepped up in a huge way to beat Iowa in Iowa City. Naz Long helped blow the game open in the second half en route to scoring a season-high 21 points. He shot over 60 percent in the game, including 55 percent from the land of three-pointers. He was followed by Abdel Nader’s 19 points, with Georges Niang at 16 and Monte Morris’ 14. Dustin Hogue rounded out the five players in double figures with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
In particular, Nader looked great against the Hawkeyes. I pegged him as a key player with Dejean-Jones out and he didn’t disappoint. He hit threes, drove with authority, and told some Hawkeyes to stop bringing the weak stuff with two blocks. Despite the vastly different situations, I was still reminded of John Neal’s legendary performance from 2004, in which Iowa State rallied to defeat Iowa in Ames and forever earned Neal a place in the hearts of Cyclones everywhere.
Otherwise the game progressed about as well as could be expected. It was a true contrast in styles with ISU’s NBA style play and Iowa’s Big 10 grind-it-out, which didn’t ultimately work as they didn’t score for stretches of the game and were even outrebounded 39-37 in Iowa State’s favor. Simply put, it was a true team effort that shined in a hostile arena.
The Maryland game has clearly had an impact on Iowa State as they have looked every bit the high-flying, passing team that has been pegged as a dark horse Final Four contender. Teams like Texas have been put on notice that their size is no guarantee when playing ISU.
The Southern Jaguars come to Ames Sunday so keep checking this site for the previews and recap for that game. And, as always, Go Cyclones!!