Drake was simply no match for the Iowa State basketball team as the Cyclones cruised to an impressive 29-point victory that didn’t even feel that close.
The most notable factor from the win is not so much Iowa State’s offense as it was the defense. It was phenominal in forcing 14 steals and Drake turned the ball over a total of 18 times. The Cyclones ended up having 10 more field goal attempts and had more possessions than the Bulldogs — which is one of the reasons why ISU was so heavily favored coming into the game.
Iowa State executed their offense perfectly though. Shooting 54.2 percent from the field is still good, and it was picture perfect “Hoiball” with 25 assists on 32 field goals made and 12 of 23 3-pointers made.
Naz Long was the go-to perimeter shooter again making 3 of 6 from downtown, but three other Cyclones made two 3-pointers: Dustin Hogue, Monte Morris, and Clayton Custer off the bench. Georges Niang, Matt Thomas, and the European sensation Georgios Tsalmpouris all added one to the list as well.
A couple disappointments in the blowout was a slow offensive night for Bryce Dejean-Jones and free throws. BDJ finished his night with just six points and five boards, but he was more of a facilitator with five assists and had a team-high four steals. His other production makes up for having the least amount of points among the starters. We’re just used to seeing him perform on a high level offensively in every game.
Iowa State only made 7 of 15 free throws, and Drake went to the line a ton in this game. Normally the Cyclones have held their opponent to single-digit free throw attempts, but the Bulldogs made 16 of 20. There were a lot of fouls in the game for Iowa State, but that could mainly be due to the bench emptying out during the second half and five different players recording 13 or more minutes.
As for the debut of Jameel McKay, he logged in 13 minutes off the bench and went 4 for 7 from the field. He finished with eight points, five rebounds, and two missed free throw attempts. Initial reactions are impressive. He moves quickly down the court for a big guy, and that’s exactly what the teams needs to have. His size should only help the team in rebounding, and they won that battle 36-29 despite the slow start on the offensive boards.
Drake simply doesn’t have a team good enough to compete with the Cyclones, and that was expected going into Des Moines on Saturday night. Iowa State will finish their non-conference slate with Mississippi Valley State and South Carolina in two weeks, then Big 12 play begins with Oklahoma State on January 6th.
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