AMES – Iowa State men’s basketball had to overcome an injury-shortened bench and a lack of focus to beat Maryland Eastern Shore on Wednesday.
The Cyclones won 55-49 over the Hawks in Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State (9-2) was without forward Hans Brase, who sprained his ankle in practice earlier in the week. The Cyclones only had seven players available.
Brase doesn’t put up a lot of stats, but he gives Iowa State another element as a stretch forward.
“That hurt us tonight,” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm said. “We’re going to have to put some time in on the three days that we get back and really get reps. That’s been the toughest thing – we have to figure out ways to get better. We’ve done a great job, these guys have done a great job of getting to this point, but now we have to figure out how to take another step up the mountain. Hans brings a different skillset that we need.”
Maryland Eastern Shore (3-10) tried to slow the game down with a deliberate offense, but Iowa State’s defense held strong, only allowing the Hawks to shoot 29 percent from the field.
But on offense, Iowa State played at Maryland Eastern Shore’s sub-methodical pace, grinding the game to a near-complete halt.
The Cyclones were up 17 at the half, shooting a respectable 48 percent from the field. Iowa State was up by 21 with 9:35 remaining in the second half. The Cyclones finished the game shooting 45 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3-point range.
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“We were up 20 and you know, it’s just – I don’t know what it was,” Prohm said. “Obviously, it was a lackadaisical offense – no ball movement, no player movement. I can stand over there and scream but we just weren’t in rhythm and we just weren’t locked in. The reason, I don’t know.”
Redshirt freshman Cameron Lard was one of the few Cyclones to have a good game from the floor. He finished with 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting and pulled down six rebounds.
Standout freshman Lindell Wigginton, on the other hand, finished the game with five points on 2-of-10 shooting and had three turnovers.
Iowa State, as a team, turned the ball over 17 times, the most since the Milwaukee loss when Iowa State turned it over 18 times.
“Forget missing shots, we turned it over more today than we have the last couple of games and we’re one of the top non-turnover teams in the country,” Prohm said. “We just didn’t have a focus tonight, and that’s on me. I’ve got to get better in these situations.”
Prohm put some of the blame on himself, but he said everybody deserves some of it.
“No excuses really for how we competed tonight,” Prohm said. “It’s on all of us. You don’t devalue winning. We get back on the 26th and have to get ready for the Big 12. The one thing I’m proud of these guys is a month ago, we were in rough, rough shape. If we can hold serve in the Big 12, then we’ll have an opportunity in March. That’s been our goal since day one. The goals don’t change here.”
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