Iowa State in the giving mood
AMES (AP) — With Christmas just days away, Iowa State was in a giving mood. The gifts were well received, too.
The Cyclones used a hot hand, which turned passes into 26 assists on Sunday and head into the Christmas break off an 89-59 win over Purdue Fort Wayne.
Tyrese Haliburton drained a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the way. Solomon Young added 15 points and reserve Terrence Lewis had a season-high 11 for the Cyclones (7-4), who led by as many as 26 in the first half thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers.
“I don’t think we’re doing anything different. Guys are shooting with confidence, having confidence in their abilities,” Haliburton said. “We haven’t been shooting too well this year, that’s an understatement. It’s guys getting in the gym, working and showing confidence and we’ll be fine.”
Haliburton hit a 3-pointer to put Iowa State up for good, 14-12 at the 11:26 mark of the first half. Zion Griffin followed with a 3 and with a Haliburton 3 with 4:58 to go, which capped a 13-0 run, the Cyclones led 37-20.
Lewis sandwiched a pair of 3s around a layup to close a late 10-0 run for a 50-24 lead before two late buckets by the Mastodons.
With Haliburton making 6 of 8 shots, including 5 of 7 behind the arc, Iowa State shot a season best 61% in the first half, going 10 of 20 behind the arc. The Mastodons, in the half, shot 41% with four 3-pointers and had 11 turnovers the Cyclones turned into 18 points.
“You just got to stick with what you believe in,” ISU coach Steve Prohm said. “Tyrese helped us offensively tonight, we have to continue to harp with him from a defensive standpoint. All these guys, it’s about shot selection and making shots … we’re either going to make them or we’re not but if we’re not can we be tough enough mentally and physically to stay in the game.”
Jarred Godfrey led the Mastodons (7-8) with 17 points and Brian Patrick added 13.
Iowa State had an early 10-2 run in the second half and a free throw by Griffin made it 67-37 near the midway point.
Purdue Fort Wayne: The Mastodons, after getting blitzed in the first half, held their own in the second half. Dylan Carl had 12 rebounds as they build a 42-35 advantage on the boards, grabbing 18 on the offensive end.
Iowa State: Haliburton continued his torrid ways. Coming into this game he was averaging 20 points on 58.5% shooting, 6.6 assists and 6.2 rebounds in the previous five games. He was 14 of 29 from distance. Overall, he was accounting for 43% of the Cyclones’ scoring.
THE GIFT OF GIVING
At halftime the Cyclones had 17 assists on 20 baskets and finished with 26 on 35.
“That’s how we need to play, move the ball,” Prohm said.
Haliburton, who also four rebounds and three steals, and Rasir Bolton had six assists each. Ten different players had assists.
Despite a cold stretch of seven-straight misses in the second half, Iowa State finished strong. The Cyclones were 15 of 30 in the second half, shooting 56% (35 of 63) for the game, making 14 of 30 from distance.
Haliburton wasn’t the only Cyclone on the mark. Young finished 7 of 8, missing his last shot; Lewis 4 of 5, 3 of 4 behind the arc (with Haliburton assisting all three); and Michael Jacobson was 4 of 6, making his only 3.
Is there a fear about players departing for Christmas mentally before it is time to go physically? No doubt.
“I worry about these games,” Prohm said of the last game before Christmas. “If you’ve been at all different levels … you know what some of those teams are capable of. You do everything you can do prevent that.”
Haliburton said a trip home is a great gift.
“When you go home to see your friends and family you get to find your ‘Why.’ Why you do it,” he said. Me going home seeing all my family and friends and how much they enjoy watching me play … you find your why you do what you do. It’s good to get that refresher.”
Purdue Fort Wayne opens Summit League play at home against South Dakota on New Year’s Day.
Iowa State has an eight-day break before a home game against Florida A&M on New Year’s Eve, the last tuneup before conference play.