Wildcats take Chicago Invite with 67-65 win over Cyclones


The Iowa State men’s basketball team is no longer undefeated. The Cyclones ran into a gritty Northwestern team on Saturday night in the championship game of the Chicago Invitational. The Cyclones shot 28 percent from the field in the second half and lost by a final of 67-65.

Important Numbers

– Iowa State had yet another rough night of shooting. Craig Brackins went 6-of-15 from the field to score 18 points. Marquis Gilstrap was 5-of-13 for 13 points. Lucca Staiger also scored 18 points in the loss. Staiger hit six 3-pointers in the game. All in all, the Cyclones shot just over 42 percent from the field on the night while going 10-for-4 from 3-point range.

– Northwestern didn’t set the nets on fire Saturday night but shot a salty 49 percent from the floor. The Wildcats came back from a five-point first half deficit to win the tournament. Northwestern’s John Shurna led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points.

– Neither Scott Christopherson nor Chris Colvin attempted a shot for the Cyclones in the game.

Post Game Quotes (from the Cyclone Radio Network) Greg McDermott

“The Princeton offense is about shooting threes and shooting layups. You can’t give up both. The backdoor layups are inexcusable. They had a lot of confidence. We just couldn’t put them away when we needed to.”

“I think that we have enough leadership on this team that our approach will be right and they’ll bring some of these young guys along the right way.”

Diante Garrett

“We are going to learn from this loss.”

“Early in the game, I think that we lost focus and they got a couple of easy baskets. I think that is what kind of hurt us.”

“We just need to play our game and try to learn from all of the defensive mistakes that we made. “

Jamie Vanderbeken

“They are very disciplined. They handle the ball well. They don’t turn the ball over a lot.”

“This is a learning experience. We know how it feels to lose now. It sucks. We had a chance to put them away.”

“From here on out, it is going to be a dogfight. No game is going to be easy.”

“The way we see it as is that we aren’t going to lose at home. That’s our mindset.”

What the Fanatics are saying

ISUChippewa writes: Northwestern is not your father’s Northwestern team. They won at Michigan State last year and also at Purdue, I beleive, so as long as they keep playing well, it’s a not a bad loss.Still disappointing though. We missed six free throws and who knows how many bunnies from five feet away or less. Sometimes it just comes down to missed shots and missed opportunities.I would be even more disappointed if the team didn’t take away some important lessons from this game.

gocubs2118 writes: Northwestern outplayed us the first 10 minutes, we outplayed them the middle 20 minutes and they outplayed us the last 10 minutes. A pretty even game, the lack of Dendy and Christopherson having a brutal game was the difference.

TarHeelHawk writes: Northwestern does that to a lot of teams. They just stay close enough to make a move at the end, and win it close.

Airwalke writes: You win some. You lose some. Good thing Northwestern showed a bit of their moxy by beating Notre Dame, otherwise I’d be among the livid tonight. But they’re not that bad. They played in the NIT last year. Don’t be surprised if this ends up being a “good loss” a few months from now.

Cstrunk writes: I don’t think this loss is that bad of a thing. Northwestern is a decent team. I think the biggest way this could benefit our team is by preventing them of getting too big of an ego. I thought last night was one of those games, but since we won by 11 I guess not. McDermott needs to DRIVE HOME the important of free throws, rebounds, and finishing strong around the hoop. If we can improve in those areas, then we will become a good team. I really hope Dendy can get fully healthy and back soon.

Chris’ Take

That was tough loss. There’s not a lot of spinning a guy can do in this situation. But I also don’t think that this is a reason for everybody to lose excitement for the rest of the season. If the Clones come out and look sluggish against Northern Iowa on Wednesday after this defeat, then we might have a problem.

“You’ll find out a lot about our character in the next couple of days. It’s an easy time to point fingers right now,” Greg McDermott told the Cyclone Radio Network after the game.

That seems about right to me. In addition to that, I assume that Mac will have his team’s full-attention when they go to practice on Monday. The days playing the Tennessee State’s of the world are over.

Let’s put things in perspective here Fanatics. A lot of us (myself included) had Iowa State at 6-1 heading into this week’s game with UNI. That’s exactly where this team is. The one loss came to a team that we didn’t account for. That’s okay. Northwestern beat Notre Dame by 14. They now beat the Clones. They’re obviously a pretty decent team in their own right.

This is the beauty of college basketball. A loss in November to a middle of the pack Big Ten team is not a season killer. It’s an attention grabber, but not reason to throw in the towel.


Cyclone Fanatic