AMES — Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm said Tuesday he thought it would be tough for his team to get up mentally for Kansas City.
The Cyclones had just played three high-level Power Five teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis last week and this Sunday, Iowa State hosts No. 16 Seton Hall in a rematch of the fifth-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum, his team proved Prohm correct. Iowa State beat Kansas City 79-61 but it wasn’t without its struggles.
Kansas City led at times in the first half and was within three points with six minutes left in the second half before the Cyclones put the Roos away.
“This was a really good win for us,” Prohm said. “I talked to our team and said the two mentally toughest games that we play are the game coming back from Oregon State against Northern Illinois on Nov. 12 and then this game coming back from the Bahamas where we did some good things in that tournament.
“I knew it’d take awhile for us to really break away. I was proud of our guys’ resiliency.”
Iowa State was led by Tyrese Haliburton and Michael Jacobson.
Haliburton had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. The sophomore added seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and a block. Jacobson was uber efficient with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting. He also added five rebounds and three steals.
Against Seton Hall on Friday, Jacobson was held scoreless.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
“I was just trying to be ready,” Jacobson said. “Some nights it’s going to be my night and some nights it’s not — it’s going to be other guys’. I have to be ready when I’m open and find my spots. Defense and rebounding are the two things I can control so I need to do those things and on the nights the offense is there be ready.”
Fifteen of Jacobson’s points came in the first half when, at times, Kansas City was leading.
“Mike works every day — he has high character,” Prohm said. “He got himself into positions where he was able to score around the basket — we posted him up some and he got the ball on some slip (screens). He played well tonight and he gave us a really big lift in the first half when we needed it.”
Fellow big man George Conditt also had a nice game for the Cyclones scoring 12 points and adding seven rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes.
“He’s just tapping the surface,” Prohm said. “He can really, really change shots at the rim and he had some opportunities around the basket. He really understands pick and roll. He’s just going to get better and better.”
Sophomore guard Rasir Bolton had a strong second half, scoring 19 points by getting to the free throw line with regularity, drawing eight fouls. Bolton was 10 for 11 from the stripe. He was also 4 of 8 from the field.
“I was just trying to attack in the second half,” Bolton said. “In the first half I was trying to pick my spots and in the second half, it was all about attacking and winning.”
Prohm wants to see more of Bolton attacking the basket.
“He’s our best player at getting downhill. We were stagnant at times tonight, offensively,” Prohm said. “The ball stuck but when we finally got some movement, Rasir did a great job of getting downhill and putting pressure on the basket and drawing fouls.”
l Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org