IOWA CITY — Iowa State men’s basketball showed fight on Thursday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena against No. 19 Iowa. Just not the kind of fight Coach Steve Prohm wanted.
The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones 98-84 in a game that included two on-court skirmishes — one in the first half and the second as the buzzer sounded at the end of the game.
“It was a spirited game from the beginning and that’s what you expect,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “I have tremendous respect for Coach Steve Prohm. I really do. They have a really good team. They’re going to win a lot of games and they’ve been terrific so far. I wish it didn’t happen, but it’s just competition, and we’ll move on.”
The first-half skirmish happened near the Iowa basket as Iowa’s Connor McCaffery and Iowa State’s Michael Jacobson got nose-to-nose and a little pushing contest ensued.
“Somebody has to run out there and break the thing up, so I ran out there and got them separated,” Prohm said. “Then all of the sudden Pemsl comes out of nowhere and pushes Jacobson. Everything was done. It was over and done with. That was frustrating. It’s all heat of the moment.”
All three players involved were hit with technical fouls.
“Fran has great kids, we have great kids — it’s a rivalry game, things got testy,” Prohm said. “Great win for them and we’ll play them again next year.”
The dust-up at the end of the game happened after a Marial Shayok layup with seven seconds left. Iowa inbounded the ball to Connor McCaffery and he stood still, thinking the Iowa State players would let the game end. But Shayok kept playing defense and as the horn ended, Jacobson poked the ball free. Another pushing match ensued.
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Prohm again was trying to separate players. Iowa assistant coach Kirk Speraw marched over and started yelling at Prohm, who in turn started yelling back.
Prohm apologized after the game, saying he didn’t represent the university well in that situation.
“At the end, I told coach Speraw this, ‘The first thing is it’s the responsibilities of the coaches to get out there and make sure A, your guys are back, and on the bench. And B, that nothing happens.’
“Tyler Cook and I, we made eye contact and we were both getting everybody settled. Then one of the assistants came over and told me, ‘Hey, get your hand off my guys.’ If anybody knows me, I’m probably one of the most (pacifistic people). That was it. I said, ‘Hey I’m trying to do the right thing here, why would you even say that? Let’s just get these kids separated, Tyler’s right there, he was helping me.’ I went over to him and I apologized, and I’ll apologize to Fran, too.”
Prohm then got his team in order and lined up to shake hands, but Fran McCaffery took his team off the court to make sure nothing further happened.
“That was the smart thing to do,” McCaffery said.
So Prohm shook hands with the assistants that were still out there.
“I was surprised,” Prohm said. “We were ready to shake hands. I stopped the coaches, I stopped Speraw, I stopped the other assistants and shook hands with them. We shook hands with who was there.”
If Iowa State would have played with better effort, especially on the defensive end, the skirmishes probably could’ve been avoided.
“We scored 82 points and missed a ton of free throws and some bunnies,” Prohm said. “We could’ve had 90. But you can’t win on the road against anybody giving up 98, let alone a good Iowa team in a rivalry game.”
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Iowa State shot 47 percent from the field, just 26 percent from 3-point range and 62 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cyclones (7-2) also allowed the Hawkeyes to dominate the boards. Iowa (7-2) outrebounded Iowa State 44-24.
Iowa forward Tyler Cook also dominated everyone Prohm threw at him. Cook scored 26 points on 12-for-16 shooting while grabbing 11 rebounds.
In fact, Iowa State had trouble guarding any Hawkeye. As a team, the Hawkeyes shot 57 percent from the field and an astonishing 50 percent from beyond the arc.
“It got chippy at the end, but we should’ve played better and played harder,” Prohm said. “We didn’t.
“We lost the game on the defensive end and on the glass and in transition,” Prohm said. “In transition because of the shot selection at times and then missed layups always turn into layups on the other end. We consistently couldn’t guard them.”
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