AMES — The shot clock was expiring when Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton got the ball from Solomon Young. The Cyclones were in the midst of a broken play.
Wigginton got the ball and pulled the trigger from deep 3-point range. He drilled it as the shot clock expired, the game clock read 1:05 and Iowa State led No. 18 Oklahoma 83-77.
The Cyclones closed the game out at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday, upsetting the Sooners 88-80 led by freshmen Wigginton and forward Cameron Lard.
Wigginton finished with 26 points, five rebounds and five assists. Lard had 19 points, 17 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
“His energy is just so good when he’s really locked in and competing,” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm said of Lard. “Think about this, he has 17 rebounds and he’s guarding a guard. He’s chasing (Rashard) Odomes, (Christian James) or he’s chasing another perimeter guy.”
Lard said he played with the same energy Saturday as he does every day. The difference, simply, was that he was on and the ball came to him.
The play before Wigginton hit the 3-pointer with 1:05 left to put Iowa State (13-11, 4-8 Big 12) up six, Donovan Jackson hit a 3 off an assist from Lard. Lard had the ball in the post, and instead of putting a shot up against multiple defenders, he found Jackson wide open the corner.
“The play of the game — forget the rebounds — is he’s under the goal, and he could shoot a little turnaround 3-footer,” Prohm said. “But he sees Donovan and he makes the pass — that’s growth. When Cameron is locked in, he’s really good. I think he has a chance, when he gets it all figured out, to be elite.”
Wigginton was also impressive finding his teammates for open looks, even though he’s still figuring out the position.
“He’s just learning the position, really,” Prohm said. “It’s trial by fire throwing him out there. He’s growing. He’s thinking scoring — that’s kind of his nature, that’s in his blood — but as he continues to grow in this position, a five-assist, three-turnover game can become a seven-assist, one-turnover game.”
Before the game, a lot of the talk was about Wigginton versus Oklahoma’s (16-8, 6-6) stellar freshman Trae Young. Wigginton called it a measuring stick before the game.
How did he feel he measured up to Young, who had 22 points on 7-of-21 shooting from the field and 1-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc? Young also added 11 assists and five rebounds.
“In my mind, I feel like I’m one of the best guards in the country,” Wigginton said. “Obviously, Trae, he’s one of the best guards in the country, too. We had a good matchup and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Iowa State used a bevy of players to slow Young down, using everybody from 6-foot-2 players Donovan Jackson and Wigginton to 6-foot-7 Zoran Talley.
“I thought the first half we were terrific,” Prohm said. “It’s not a tricky game plan, it’s can you do your defensive fundamental rules at the best level you’ve done it?”
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Iowa State did that for the most part, and came out with its third victory against a top-20 team of the season — led by a pair of dynamic freshman.
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