Cyclones ramp up defense in rout
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
AMES — Iowa State moved the ball and yet again played strong defense.
The result was a surprisingly satisfying win on the heels of two tough losses.
Deonte Burton scored 20 points and the 25th-ranked Cyclones pummeled Nebraska-Omaha 91-47 on Monday night, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Donovan Jackson had 15 for the Cyclones (6-2), who hit 15 of 29 3-pointers and rolled to their third win of 40 or more points this season.
“I thought we did some things better,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “Pace of play. Sharing the basketball, moving the basketball, the ball moving side to side. And defensively, for the majority of the game, I thought we competed.”
Iowa State knew it had to take the Mavericks (4-5) seriously after they stunned Iowa on Saturday. The Cyclones never let Omaha think it had a chance, storming ahead 36-9 after just 12 minutes — with Burton scoring their first 13 points.
“I just took what they were giving me, and it was falling,” Burton said.
Iowa State, which fell six spots in Monday’s AP Top 25 poll but remained ranked for the 61st week in a row, held the Mavs to 28 percent shooting.
The Cyclones, not typically known for their defense, have held three of their last four opponents to 56 points or less.
“We play in a really good league,” Prohm said, looking ahead to Big 12 play. “You better guard, and you better play the right way.”
Tra-Deon Hollins had 13 points to lead the Mavs.
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa State: One of the big issues for Iowa State this season was inconsistent ball movement. That was clearly a focus for coach Steve Prohm in practice after last week’s 55-54 home loss to Cincinnati, and the Cyclones had the ball flying around the perimeter from the opening tip. Iowa State had 10 assists on its first 16 baskets.
Omaha: The Mavericks crossed the Missouri River for a road trip against Iowa and Iowa State. They split, having beaten the Hawkeyes 98-89 on Saturday. That’s a result any Summit League program would take.
Ranked teams are supposed to beat low-major teams handily at home. How the Cyclones look in Iowa City will determine if their streak reaches 62 weeks.
Darrell Bowie scored 12 points, including a pair of 3s, for Iowa State. Naz Mitrou-Long had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists and Monte Morris had seven points and nine assists. … Omaha hit just 5 of 22 from 3-point range. … Solomon Young returned from a hand injury and scored six points and five rebounds off the bench. His size will be crucial against Iowa, which has depth along its frontline.
Jackson, a junior college transfer, was expected to be Iowa State’s starting point guard this season — but Morris somewhat unexpectedly returned for his senior season. Jackson was spotty at times as a rotation guard, averaging just 3.9 points in his first seven games. Jackson got 23 minutes and made the most of them Monday, adding three assists, three rebounds and a steal without a turnover. “I don’t care who we were playing…he made open shots. He made right decisions,” Prohm said. “He bounced back, but that’s what good players do.”
HE SAID IT
“I think I’m gaining more confidence by the day,” Jackson said.
The Cyclones hit the road to face Iowa on Thursday. The Hawkeyes haven’t looked as bad as they’ve looked this season in years, but those rivalry games tend to be close and intense.
Omaha hosts Montana State on Saturday.