Dec. 12, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — No. 13 Iowa State made 12 3-pointers in handing the University of Iowa men’s basketball team a 90-75 defeat Friday night in an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series match-up on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Cyclones led 38-33 at the break before blowing the game open over the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second half. Iowa State made its first 10 shots, forcing the Hawkeyes to burn two timeouts, but nothing could halt the Cyclones’ momentum.
“It felt like our energy level was zapped,” said senior Aaron White of Iowa State’s start to the second half. “They were making a run and it was like we just accepted it and acted like we couldn’t compete. That’s the most disappointing part from my end, it’s like we accepted defeat.”
Iowa State’s Georges Niang opened the second stanza with a 3-pointer to give Iowa State a 41-33 lead before White answered with a pair of free throws making the score 41-35 with 18:59 to play. The Cyclones followed with 18 unanswered points, which was capped off by an Abdel Nadar 3-pointer at the 14:40 mark to open a 59-35 lead.
“Everything went wrong,” said White. “When our offense wasn’t clicking, we were missing shots, turning the ball over and letting them score at will.
“We’re better than that… a lot better than that. It’s frustrating and unacceptable. Moving forward that can’t happen.”
Iowa State shot 53.1 percent from the field for the game, including a blistering 63.3 percent in a 52-point second half. The Cyclones made 44.4 percent of their 3-point attempts (12-of-27) and assisted on 22 of its 34 field goals.
Naz Long led a group of five Iowa State players in double figures, finishing with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting with five 3-point field goals. Nadar scored 19 points off the bench, making 6-of-10 field goals and four 3-pointers. He entered the game with 22 points for the season.
Monte Morris had 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists, and Dustin Hogue posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
White led a pair of Iowa players in double figures, netting 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Sophomore Peter Jok scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench. Junior Mike Gesell finished with nine points and seven assists.
The Hawkeyes finished with a 39.4 field goal percentage and made 7-of-20 3-point attempts. Iowa committed just seven turnovers, but five came during the Cyclones’ 21-2 spurt to start the second half.
The game started at a fever pitch with the two teams combining to hit nine of their first 16 shots over the first 4 1/2 minutes. After Iowa State built a 17-13 lead on a Nadar 3-pointer at the 13:15 mark, senior Gabriel Olaseni had a monster block on Nadar going in for a dunk and White followed by draining a 3-ball from the right corner to make the score 17-16 and send Carver into a frenzy.
After falling behind 25-18, Iowa shot its way out of a 2-for-14 skid, scoring six-straight, courtesy of jumpers from White, Jarrod Uthoff, and Jok to trim the deficit to 25-24 with 5:17 left in the half. The Hawkeyes tied the game a minute later when White finished with a finger roll in traffic, evening the score at 28.
The Cyclones grabbed the momentum, scoring the final five points of the half, courtesy of a Morris lay-up, and a Matt Thomas 3-pointer as time expired.
Iowa had the ball for the final possession, but Gesell was blocked by Morris with four seconds left. Thomas corralled the rebound, drove the court, and stopped for a pull-up 3-pointer, giving Iowa State a 38-33 halftime lead.
“That was a big play in the game,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “We had a chance to tie it up, go up one, (but instead), we’re down five. At the start of the second half, we got a couple of stops, and (Anthony) Clemmons got to the rim.
“But they hit a 3… it just snow-balled from there.”
The Hawkeyes (8-3) will have a week off before returning to action Dec. 20 against Northern Iowa in the Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I’ve been here before,” said McCaffery. “You have a great win, you have a tough loss… it’s no different. You go back to work, break down film, and hold them accountable.
“You don’t kill them… you’re reasonable about it and you’ve to be encouraging. You’ve to get them believing again because they clearly had some doubt tonight.”