DES MOINES — Iowa State was in a dogfight with the Drake Bulldogs midway through the second half Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
But the Cyclones went on a 19-2 run to end the game before Drake’s Anthony Murphy made a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Iowa State used the run to surge past Drake 77-68.
“We finally got the ball moving, guys were making plays, they were looking to find other dudes,” forward Michael Jacobson said. “We kind of got stagnant in the middle of the second half. But we got the ball moving and the shots were there.”
Jacobson was the one constant all game for Iowa State (9-2). The Iowa native poured in 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting.
But that wasn’t the thing that stood out to him postgame.
“Four rebounds and three turnovers,” he said during the postgame press conference.
Coach Steve Prohm quickly quipped back, “That stands out to me too.”
Jacobson averages 6.5 rebounds per game.
While he didn’t have the rebounding gam he wanted, he’s been the rock all season for Iowa State who was down four players, including two starting post players from last season in Cam Lard and Solomon Young.
“Where would we be without Mike?” Prohm said as he pondered the question. “What, (freshman) George (Conditt) would play the five? Or We’d play five guards? I don’t know where we’d be, but you know what, I don’t have to think about that.”
Freshman wing Talen Horton-Tucker said the only reason Iowa State is 9-2 at this point of the season is because of Jacobson.
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Horton-Tucker started off the game well, scoring nine points in the first five minutes. He cooled off as the game went on, but he threw down a thunderous and-one dunk in the second half that helped spark Iowa State’s run after stealing the ball as Drake (6-2) was taking it up the court.
“At first I was worried what the coaches would say because they always tell me to get back and I’m not really supposed to be doing that,” Horton-Tucker said sheepishly. “I gambled, but I don’t really know, my legs are noodles right now. I just went up with the momentum of the game and I just finished it.”
Horton-Tucker finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Fellow freshman Tyrese Haliburton also threw down a contact dunk. His came in first half.
“I think it just energizes everybody,” Jacobson said. “It’s a huge spark and it gets everybody going and wakes everybody up. Guys like Tyrese and Talen getting those dunks, it kind of wakes everybody up because I feel like we didn’t have great energy for stretches.”
Those lulls in energy — especially on the defensive end of the court — are what concern Prohm and the players the most at this point of the season.
“Everybody loves offense and I’ve fallen in love with it too,” Prohm said. “I don’t know if Ames, Iowa, makes you fall in love with offense or what, but we all know we have to focus on defense. If we’re good on defense, we’re going to be better offensively because we can play in space and we have four guys that can push the break.”
Jacobson said the defense could make or break the team as Big 12 play approaches.
“We have to be locked in defensively for 40 minutes,” Jacobson said. “We can’t let our offense dictate our defense. If we can get back to playing defense how we were in the first part of the year — bring some more energy to it — I think we could be very good.”
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