AMES — Iowa State guard Marial Shayok woke up Monday with an epiphany.
He realized he only had a handful of games left in his college basketball career and he didn’t want it to end with any regrets.
After losing three of its last four, Iowa State stemmed the tide at Hilton Coliseum, easily handling Oklahoma 78-61 thanks to 21 points from Shayok.
This was one of Shayok’s better overall games. He got his 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished five assists.
“Whether we finish in the next five games or we finish in April, I just want to make sure I have no regrets leaving Iowa State,” Shayok said. “I’m leaving it all out there, every night to help lead this team as far as possible.”
Iowa State coach Steve Prohm had been challenging his team’s toughness. Iowa State followed by out-rebounding Oklahoma 35-33 and playing solid defense throughout while holding Oklahoma to just 38 percent shooting from the field.
“We definitely stepped it up defensively and the energy went through the whole team,” Shayok said. “We talked about it after Saturday and hopefully we can keep it going these next few games.”
Another key difference for Iowa State was how well the Cyclones shot (52 percent from the field and 48 percent from beyond the arc).
“Shots going in leads to better energy on defense. I know that. That’s proven,” Prohm said. “If we play the right way, we’re going to get good shots. Anytime we’re moving the ball we’re going to get good shots, then we have to make them.”
Talen Horton-Tucker also had a strong game. The freshman was aggressive attacking the basket and getting layups. He finished with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting. He also went 2 of 5 from beyond the arc.
Horton-Tucker battles some inconsistency troubles at times and it’s something he’s aware of and is actively working on.
“For me, being able to play (at the same level) throughout the whole game is important,” he said.
This game is just a one-game sample size, so it’s impossible to tell if Iowa State is truly out of its funk, but one thing is for sure. The Cyclones played with a sense of urgency Monday.
“I don’t think we did have a sense of urgency these last few weeks,” Shayok said. “Now we have no choice — especially Zoran (Talley), (Nick) Weiler-Babb and I. These are our last few games of our college careers. We’re going to leave it all out there and hopefully the team does the same.”
Prohm hopes his team his locked in because he knows how good they can be.
“We know who we are,” Prohm said. “When we’re locked in and dialed in, we have a chance to beat a lot of people. We really do. But when we’re not — when we cut corners, don’t share the ball, soft on defense — we’re average.
“It’s good to win, we needed a win.”
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