AMES — Remember Wednesday, when Kansas thumped Iowa State to the tune of 79-53?
Well, Saturday was the complete opposite of that for the Cyclones.
Iowa State handled Oklahoma from start to finish, hitting open shots that were within the offense and playing good defense in an 81-68 Big 12 men’s basketball win.
This is Iowa State’s ninth-straight win against Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State used a 21-0 run that spanned from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second to pull away from the Sooners. The Cyclones’ largest lead was 26 points.
For the first time this season, Iowa State sophomore George Conditt was inserted into the starting lineup. Conditt recorded eight points, four rebounds and one block.
The Cyclones were led by guard Rasir Bolton, who finished with an efficient 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting from inside the arc. He added six assists and two rebounds to his impressive stat line.
“I was just playing,” Bolton said. “I was just trying to get that sick feeling out of my mouth. I was being aggressive and playing how I play.”
Tyrese Haliburton was once again good in all aspects of the game. The star sophomore scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range — including a shot from just inside the half-court line at the first-half buzzer.
Haliburton added eight assists, five rebounds and three steals to his all-around game.
“(Bolton) was able to play off of Tyrese and keep the floor spaced,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “When you have Tyrese, that opens up angles and driving lanes for Rasir. He was really good tonight and he put pressure on the basket. That’s his best attribute.”
Iowa State’s bench had its strongest game of the year, led by freshman Tre Jackson.
Jackson was lights out from 3-point range, hitting 4 of 5 and scoring a career-high 12 points.
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Jackson had been struggling from 3, shooting just 31 percent from beyond the arc. Give the freshman credit, though. His confidence never waivered.
“My confidence is always high — I’m going to shoot it any time I get the ball,” said Jackson said, drawing a smirk and chuckle from Prohm. “If I’m open I’m going to let it fly. This game really helped my confidence a lot.”
In total, Iowa State’s bench outscored Oklahoma’s 28-13.
“(The plan) was to go deep into my bench and trust those guys and see who could really give us a spark,” Prohm said. “I thought George was really good early and I thought Solomon (Young) responded in an unbelievable way. His effort tonight was phenomenal. Tre went in there and was really good for us and credit Terrence Lewis, too. He had a really good first half. The bench provided a spark — Zion (Griffin) was good for us too. They all provided great energy.”
Iowa State also dominated the boards, 35-25. Oklahoma only had one offensive rebound until grabbing another pair in the final minutes of the game.
Iowa State held Oklahoma’s Kristian Doolittle in check. He finished with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Conditt mainly guarded the athletic big man. He was athletic enough to stay in front of him and long enough to contest his mid-range jumpshots.
Another strong spot for the Cyclones was their ability to force Oklahoma to turn the ball over. The Sooners had 15 turnovers while the Cyclones had just nine.
The Cyclones needed a strong game Saturday after their recent poor stretch. They were on a three-game losing streak and had lost four of its last five.
Now, the Cyclones at least washed some of the bad taste out of their mouths before traveling to No. 4 Baylor and No. 22 Texas Tech next week.
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“Oh man, it’s great to play well and play well at home and make shots,” Prohm said. “Our guys really competed on the defensive end — we gave up no offensive rebounds in the first half. Our attention to detail with how we wanted to guard Doolittle was really good. Then offensively, we obviously made shots, but the ball moved, too.”
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