AMES — For the second straight game, Iowa State struggled from 3-point range.
The Cyclones shot just 5 of 22 from distance Tuesday against Southern Miss at Hilton Coliseum after going 3 of 25 from 3 last Tuesday against Northern Illinois.
Despite the poor 3-point shooting, Iowa State handled Southern Miss 73-45 in Hilton Coliseum.
“I don’t think they’re bad looks, we just shot the ball rough,” Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton said. “To be honest, I didn’t even feel like we shot the ball that bad tonight, but looking at the stats, we obviously didn’t shoot the ball too well.
“I think we’re getting good looks, they’re just not falling. We spend a lot of time in the gym and we spend a lot of time together, so eventually they’ll fall.”
On the other side of the coin, the Golden Eagles shot even worse than the Cyclones.
Southern Miss was 0 for 16 from 3-point range.
“I don’t know if we can take all the credit for them not making a single 3-point shot, but we made steps in the right direction,” guard Prentiss Nixon said. “We ran people off the 3-point line and we stayed in gaps when people drove. This team has a lot of room to grow and down the line we’ll be right where we want to be on the defensive side of things.”
Haliburton was once again the catalyst for the Cyclones. The sophomore had 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting and 5-for-6 shooting from the free throw line. He also dished out nine assists to just one turnover and had three steals.
“He’s our best playmaker,” Coach Steve Prohm said. “Four games in, it’s a small sample, but he’s almost 6-to-1 assist to turnover. He needs to get downhill, he needs to cause rotations because he can find the right guys. He needs to be our playmaker but he also needs to be aggressive for us too.”
Fellow sophomore George Conditt continued to be a defensive anchor for Iowa State. Conditt blocked four shots for the Cyclones while scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds.
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Solomon Young led the Cyclones in scoring with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He also pulled down six rebounds.
Despite Iowa State’s perimeter woes, the Cyclones shot 60 percent from inside the arc.
“I think we’re trying to make a conscious effort to throw it inside more,” Prohm said. “Solomon has done a really good job with that — scoring at the rim, being physical. We need to keep doing that.
“These teams tonight combined to go 5 for 38 from 3, which is terrible. I’d need to go look at the 22 shots. If 18 or 15 of them are good, then we just need to continue to shoot them and work at it and eventually we’ll have a big night.”
Iowa State has showed flashes of being a good team, it just needs to find a rhythm from beyond the arc and stay consistent.
“We’re at our best when we’re moving the basketball and the ball is moving, not sticking,” Haliburton said. “I think we’re capable defensively. There have been stretches where we’ve looked really good defensively and then we have stretches where it looks pretty rough.
“Consistency, we’re not where we need to be but it’s a race to maturity. Every team is going to struggle with staying consistent early, so it’s just a race to maturity. When we get there and hit our stride, I think we can be really good.”
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