AMES — Iowa State’s men’s basketball team missed the last several weeks due to COVID-19 problems.
Monday, the Cyclones were able to get back on the court but were more than a little shorthanded in its game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Iowa State had four starters out due to “health and safety protocols” and two others out.
The four starters were Solomon Young, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Tre Jackson and Javan Johnson.
That left just six scholarship players available for the Cyclones and two walk-ons available for the Cyclones with Xavier Foster also out due to foot surgery. Eight players is the minimum number of players allowed by the Big 12 to still have the game.
Oklahoma State beat the depleted Iowa State team 81-60 despite being without top NBA Draft prospect Cade Cunningham.
“We just wanted to go out and compete and have each other’s backs knowing it wasn’t going to be perfect,” Iowa State guard Rasir Bolton said.
The Cyclones (2-8, 0-6 Big 12) started Rasir Bolton, Tyler Harris, Jaden Walker, Darlinstone Dubar and George Conditt.
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“The game is the game once you get in there,” ISU coach Steve Prohm said. “We had eight guys and we were obviously asking more from everybody — from myself to the eighth man.”
Iowa State jumped out to a 13-2 lead to start the game but two fouls put Conditt, Iowa State’s only available post player, on the bench for the rest of the half.
Oklahoma State (10-4, 4-4) took advantage of Iowa State’s lack of a player taller than 6-foot-6 and attacked the paint.
The Cowboys had 32 points in the paint in the first half and out-rebounded Iowa State 28-11 in the half.
Oklahoma State actually had as many offensive rebounds as Iowa State did defensive rebounds in the first half.
Matthew-Alexander Moncrieff and Rondel Walker led the Cowboys in the first half, each scoring 12 points. Moncrieff also had eight rebounds in the half.
Iowa State was led by Bolton, who was the only starter who normally starts for the Cyclones. Bolton had 12 first-half points on 4-of-7 shooting. Bolton was aided by Harris who had seven-first half points and Harris was disruptive on defense, recording three steals.
It was more of the same in the second half.
Iowa State was able to force 24 Oklahoma State turnovers. But the Cowboys were able to dominate the glass with Conditt in foul trouble for the entire game.
Oklahoma State out-rebounded Iowa State 49-19.
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Bolton was a steadying force for the Cyclones on Monday. He finished with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
“It was a challenge with all of the young guys and new guys on the court,” Bolton said. “It was definitely a different lineup than what we were used to playing with. I was doing my best to make sure guys knew where they were supposed to be and I was trying to give them confidence.”
Harris continued his impressive play in the second half and finished with 18 points and four steals.
Iowa State also got a lift from true freshman Jaden Walker. Walker was active defensively and got three steals to show for it. He also had eight points on 3-for-6 shooting.
“I want him to stay aggressive,” Prohm said of Walker. “He got three steals and has great length. I told him at halftime that he has a great body to really be an impact player down the road.”
The lack of available players gave walk-on Nate Jenkins a chance for the Cyclones. Jenkins played 19 minutes and totaled three steals and a rebound.
The only active Cyclone not to play was fellow walk-on Eric Styer.
“This is the landscape we’re in,” Prohm said. “We have to adjust and be able to handle adversity and continue to encourage one another so we can get through this.”
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