AMES — Iowa State hoovered around a nine-point deficit against South Dakota State for most of Wednesday’s men’s basketball game.
The Cyclones tried to mount a comeback in the final five minutes but the Jackrabbits were able to stave off the effort for a 71-68 win.
Solomon Young was undoubtedly the bright spot for the Cyclones (1-1). The senior big man had 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting and five rebounds.
As a team, the Cyclones were efficient inside the arc. Iowa State made 68 percent of its 2-point attempts.
On the other side of the coin, Iowa State attempted 23 3-pointers and made just four
“We have to establish the post,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “Everything we do, all the ball-screen stuff, is just to try and get it back inside (to Young). Obviously we didn’t shoot the 3 that well. We have to establish the post.
“Our first three actions were to go inside. On the first possession, we made it. On the second, we missed the jump hook and then after that we became perimeter happy.”
It wasn’t until the second half that Iowa State reestablished the post, which allowed Young to score 16 second-half points.
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Prohm attributed the Cyclones becoming perimeter-happy to having a young team with a lot of new faces.
“That’s part of these guys doing it for the first time,” Prohm said. “When we do the right things offensively, it’s been proven that we can be very, very efficient.”
Young’s ability to establish the post in the second half was just part of the equation Iowa State was able to make it a close game.
The Cyclones also stepped up defensively. Iowa State held South Dakota State (2-2) to just 31 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
“For the first 30 minutes we weren’t very good,” Prohm said. “Obviously the second-half numbers were terrific. We weren’t in tune or aggressive enough in the first half.”
Young believes that a sense of urgency and aggressiveness will come. Iowa State has seven new faces and didn’t have any scrimmages and was only able to practice five-on-five for the past two weeks. The Cyclones are still trying to get a feel for each other.
“A lot of it is just getting comfortable and getting to the point where things become second nature,” Young said. “Now that we have a couple of games under our belt and have been able to practice more, that sense of urgency will get there.”
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