AMES — It was a historically bad day in Hilton Coliseum for Iowa State.
The Cyclones only scored 45 points, which is the fewest points ever scored in Hilton, which opened in 1971, and fewest points in a home game since 1959.
Iowa State (11-9) lost to No. 21 Tennessee (15-5) 68-45 on Saturday.
“Hilton is supposed to be our safe haven,” Iowa State guard Donovan Jackson said. “We’re disrespecting Hilton right now and we have to find it. It’s on us as players, it’s not on Coach (Steve Prohm). He always takes the blame for it, but honestly, it’s on us. We have to compete better.”
The 23-point loss is tied for the fourth-worst non-conference loss in school history.
It was worst non-conference loss since Iowa beat Iowa State by 25 in 2001.
Jackson called the performance soft.
“No question,” said Prohm, confirming Jackson’s statement. “And that’s the frustrating thing. We’re not playing well enough to deserve to win. We’re not doing the things to deserve to win and that’s the teaching that we’re doing right now.
“When we get hit, we fold. Soft is feeling sorry for yourself because you’re not playing, soft is because it’s not about you, soft is a lot more than getting your butt kicked on a one-on-one defensive rebound. We’re soft in a lot of areas.”
One of those areas is shooting. Prohm said every team has bad nights from the floor, but the poor shooting affected other areas as well.
Iowa State shot 33 percent from the field, 23 percent from 3-point range and 41 percent from the free-throw line.
“Are they all open, perfect shots? Probably not,” Prohm said. “Are a lot of them shots you’re supposed to make? Yes. Does it take the wind out of this team’s sail when we struggle offensively? No question. And that’s toughest thing. We have not been able to fight through offensive struggles. Our competitive instinct just has to be better.”
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Only Jackson was in double figures for the Cyclones, and he shot 5 for 14 from the field and 2 for 8 from beyond the arc.
Freshman Lindell Wigginton couldn’t get anything to fall, shooting just 3 of 13 from the field, 2 of 5 from 3-point range and 1 of 7 from the free-throw line.
Jackson said the whole team needs to get back in the gym and get back to work to get the shots to fall. But the Cyclones need to do a little more than that to not play soft.
“Soul searching,” Jackson said of what Iowa State needs to do to play tougher. “You have to look yourself in the mirror. At the end of the day, you’re a man, you’re playing college basketball, you’re playing against an SEC team or a Big 12 team — it doesn’t matter. You have to come out here and compete.”
Prohm said he’s tried about seven different things to try to get this team to play hard and do the right things, like it’s supposed to.
The Xs and Os will only get him so far.
“It’s not about me watching tape, it’s about getting these guys to take ownership,” Prohm said. “That’s the biggest thing we have to find.”
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