No. 7 Iowa State edges Colorado 68-62
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Steve Prohm’s Iowa State debut was a success.
Georges Niang scored 17 points, and the seventh-ranked Cyclones held off Colorado 68-62 on Friday in Prohm’s first game as coach.
Abdel Nader had 14 points and Naz Mitrou-Long scored 13 for the Cyclones, who held the Buffaloes to just 36.5 percent shooting.
Niang, a preseason All-American, also had a pair of assists – including an alley-oop pass to Jameel McKay that put Iowa State ahead 64-57 with 1:13 to go.
“The first game of the year, so it ain’t always going to be pretty,” Prohm said.
George King had 14 points for Colorado, which was picked seventh in the Pac-12’s preseason media poll. The reserve was 4 for 8 from 3-point range.
Prohm, who was 104-29 in four seasons at Murray State, replaced Fred Hoiberg in May after Hoiberg jumped to the Chicago Bulls.
Prohm promised the Cyclones would look very similar to Hoiberg’s high-scoring teams, but with an added emphasis on defense and rebounding.
Iowa State made progress on both counts in the opener. The Cyclones allowed Colorado to hit nine 3s on a litany of clear looks, but they forced 18 turnovers.
“Our guys were resilient. I thought we defended well for really long spurts,” Prohm said. “I thought we rebounded well, kept them off the glass.”
Neither team could get much going before Iowa State scored eight straight to take a 30-25 lead. The Cyclones (1-0) really got going after the break.
Spurred on by a pro-Iowa State crowd, the Cyclones started attacking the basket and jumped ahead 40-27. Colorado responded with an 11-0 run, but the Cyclones led the entire half.
Dominique Collier scored 13 points for the Buffaloes (0-1), and Josh Scott had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Colorado could have made it a one-point game with 15 seconds left, but Xavier Talton missed a 3 and Nader sealed it at the line.
“We played hard. The effort was there. We just made a lot of mistakes early. A lot of mistakes that cost us the game,” Collier said.
The Cyclones received $125,000 for playing in the Sanford Pentagon, a 3,200-seat gym built in 2013 to resemble a field house from the 1950s. The scoreboard above half court and two more in the corners feature manual clocks.
Iowa State hosts Chicago State in its home opener on Monday.
Iowa 75, Gardner Webb 59
IOWA CITY – Jarrod Uthoff scored all of his career-high 21 points in the first half and Iowa beat Gardner Webb 76-59 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Adam Woodbury had 11 points and Peter Jok added 8 before leaving early in the second half with an injury for the Hawkeyes, who scored 21 points off 17 Bulldog turnovers.
Tyrell Nelson scored 12 points to lead Gardner Webb, which shot 19 percent from the field in the second half.
Uthoff hit 6 of 9 field goals and all seven of his free throws in the first half. The senior put up only three shots in limited second-half minutes.
Iowa led 41-37 after a back-and-forth first half. The Hawkeyes opened the second half on an 8-0 run to create a cushion and led by double figures for much of the rest of the game.
Drake 97, Simpson 52
DES MOINES – Reed Timmer had 19 points, Casey Schlatter added 13, and Drake shot nearly 70 percent from the field en route to a 97-52 win over Simpson (Iowa) in the season opener for both teams on Friday.
Timmer, who earned Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman and All-Newcomer honors last season, finished 6 of 7 from the field and 6 of 6 on free throws.
Drake used an 18-0 run in the first half to take a 26-6 lead within the first 10 minutes. The Bulldogs led 50-18 at halftime. Dominik Olejniczak’s 12 rebounds led an impressive effort from the Drake bench which totaled 47 points and 32 rebounds.
Dillon Gretzky, nephew of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, scored a team-high 14 points for Simpson and pulled down five rebounds. He was the only Storm player to score in double figures.