AMES — Iowa State freshman guard Tyrese Haliburton kept a promise Sunday night at Hilton Coliseum.
After a loss to Iowa game Thursday, former Iowa State point guard and radio color commentator Eric Heft told Haliburton that Haliburton needed to break his single-game assists record. Haliburton responded, “I’ll break it.”
“I didn’t mean this game, I told him I’d break it eventually,” Haliburton said. “I was just trying to share the ball and I guess it worked.”
The true freshman broke the 44-year old record en route to Iowa State’s 101-65 win over Southern.
In just his 10th game as a college basketball player, Haliburton dished out 17 assists, breaking Heft’s single-game record of 16, which he set in 1974. Heft was doing radio, as he always does, for the game and couldn’t wipe his smile off his face when Haliburton broke the record.
“Congratulations to (Haliburton),” Coach Steve Prohm said. “Seventeen assists, that’s obviously tremendous. A lot of great point guards and decision makers have been through this program — I can rattle them all off — but that’s a special achievement.”
Jamal Tinsley, Monte Morris, Diante Garrett and Jeff Hornacek were all point guards and decision makers to come through Iowa State who also eventually played in the NBA.
None of them were the one to break the record.
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“Seventeen assists is a lot of assists, but that’s what he’s about, though,” Prohm said. “He’s an awesome kid to coach. He just wants to win. It’s an unbelievable honor. I didn’t know who had the record. I asked after, ‘Who had it? Tinsley, Hornacek, Monte?’ Then they said Eric Heft.”
Prohm joked he’d have to give Heft a hard time the next time he has to do a radio interview.
To go along with the 17 assists, Haliburton poured in 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
Haliburton said his favorite assist was either an ally-oop lob to Terrence Lewis in the first half, or his no-look pass to George Conditt, who finished the pass off with a dunk — that pass also happened to be the assist that broke the record, which Haliburton wasn’t aware of at the time.
“As I was getting more assists Marial (Shayok) was standing up and yelling to me from the bench what I was at, and we still thought I had four or five more to go,” Haliburton said. “When I got to the 17th, we thought I was still a couple away — the jumbotron was wrong. Marial kept telling me different numbers. When we heard 17 it was pretty cool.”
“My fault,” Shayok said with a laugh.
As a team, Iowa State shot 70 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. The Cyclones (8-2) assisted on 28 of their 40 made field goals against the Jaguars (1-9).
“The energy Tyrese brought to start (is what led to the hot shooting),” Shayok, a senior, said. “Some of us lacked energy, including myself in the first half.”
Shayok scored just six points on 2-for-4 shooting in the first half.
“But Tyrese just kept us going and it got him going to a great game,” Shayok continued. “I’m definitely proud of him and (his energy) was definitely was the reason.”
Shayok finished with a career-high tying 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting.
Maybe the second most impressive part of Haliburton’s night was that he committed just one turnover in 38 minutes to go along with his 17 assists and 15 points.
“Tyrese is one of those kids you just play and he seems like he could play 45 minutes without taking him out,” Prohm said. “He just has something about him. Since watching him play during the recruiting — we didn’t recruit him long — but once we saw him play, there were two or three possessions and you’re like, ‘This kid has something.’”
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