AMES — Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton hit the biggest shot of the game against Seton Hall. It was a 3-pointer with 2:30 left that sent Hilton Coliseum into a frenzy and increased Iowa State’s lead to nine points.
The Cyclones avenged their Battle 4 Atlantis loss and beat the No. 16 Pirates 76-66 Sunday night in the Big East-Big 12 Battle.
The game was fast, physical and close throughout until that shot.
Haliburton finished with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He was his typical stat-sheet stuffing self, adding six rebounds, five assists and a block.
“Every good team has to have a signature win,” Haliburton said. “This was the first one for us. It felt really good to not only beat a ranked team but a team that had beat us before. It’s a goal of ours to not lose at home and treat Hilton the right way.”
The first half at times looked more like post-practice conditioning than it did a basketball game.
The teams sprinted up and down the court and hoisted up shot attempt after shot attempt at a frenetic pace — making very few of them.
At the half, Iowa State was shooting 11 of 35 and Seton Hall was shooting 10 for 33 — that’s a shot every 17 seconds, which doesn’t include the 18 first-half turnovers the teams combined for and the eight combined free-throw attempts.
Iowa State (6-3) got a big boost from sophomore big man George Conditt off the bench. Conditt was one of the only efficient Cyclones in the first half. He had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, five rebounds and two blocks in 10 minutes in the half. He finished with a career-high 17 points and added six rebounds and five blocks in 19 minutes.
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“He’s just tapping the surface of how good he can be,” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm said. “He really understands what we need from him and he’s really bought into his role. He loves Iowa State — he has a deep admiration for Iowa State. He had five blocks and I didn’t realize he had 17 points. He can really, really protect the basket, which is huge. He really understands pick-and-roll offense — screening and rescreening then rolling hard. And he also has great hands and can run.”
Haliburton added that he thought Conditt was the best shot blocker in the country.
Haliburton was the other efficient Cyclone in the half with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, three rebounds, two assists and a block.
The offenses played more at a normal basketball pace and got things relatively figured out in the second half, scoring 48 and 40 points compared to 28 and 26 in the first half.
Iowa State shot just 38 percent from the field in the game and 21 percent from 3-point range, which Prohm called “awesome.”
“It was awesome because what’s the knock against us? It’s that we’re not always tough,” Prohm said. “So, like (Clemson football coach) Dabo Swinney, let’s win a grit and toughness game where we have to fight through things. We did that. We figured out a way. We need to make shots at some point but we hadn’t won a game like that against a legit, legit team. We did that tonight and hopefully that gives our guys great confidence going forward.”
Iowa State’s Rasir Bolton came alive in the second half, scoring 15 points after having just two in the first half.
The Cyclones did an OK job on Seton Hall star Myles Powell. Powell was just 3 for 9 in the first half with eight points. He got things somewhat turned around in the second half and finished with 19 points on 7-of-20 shooting. He also had five turnovers and fouled out with 54 seconds left.
Prentiss Nixon was the main defender of Powell but he didn’t take the credit for Powell having an off night.
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“The team defended him well,” Nixon said. “He drove to the lane and people got in passing lanes and made him take tough shots over our big men. The team did a great job tonight.”
Seton Hall (6-3) won the season’s first meeting between the two on Nov. 29 in the Bahamas, 84-76.
“They needed this for their confidence,” Prohm said. “We needed a confidence win. We’ve had a great schedule and beat a good Alabama team that I think will look really good at the end of the year and we’ve lost to a couple of really good teams. We needed this win.”
Iowa State’s next game is Thursday against Iowa at Hilton Coliseum.
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