By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
The Iowa State men’s basketball team overcame a lackluster Hilton Coliseum to snap its two-game losing streak and defeat Southeast Missouri State 85-58 on Monday night.
It is hard to blame fans for not going to the game. SEMO was 0-8. The Cyclones had dropped two straight and in case you haven’t checked, it is cold outside!
“We told ourselves that we weren’t going to have the Cyclone Alley and the fans here at the game, so we said that we were going to create our own energy and I think we did that,” senior point guard Diante Garrett said after the game.
Below are notes, quotes and analysis on Iowa State’s 27 point victory.
CF’s PLAYER OF THE GAME
Diante Garrett – Iowa State’s senior point guard possibly could have had a triple-double had he not been taking out early due to the blowout. Garrett ended the night with 20 points, while going 8-of-12 from the field. He added six assists (to only one turnover) and five rebounds to his box score. Garrett got a much-deserved rest by playing only 28 minutes in the win. He should be very fresh for Friday’s contest with Iowa. Garrett has been in double figures in all nine games for Iowa State this season. He’s averaging 17.0 points per contest.
Ejim bounced back – For the first time this season, Melvin Ejim looked like a true freshman in Iowa State losses to Northern Iowa and California last week. On Monday night, he played like himself again. Ejim recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while going 7-of-11 from the field. Ejim scored in double figures for the seventh time this season. Ejim is now averaging 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season.
Dude doesn’t miss – Well, at least not very often. Scott Christopherson ended Monday night’s win with 13 points, making his one and only 3-point attempt. Christopherson is now 28-for-47 (60 percent) on the season from 3-point range. He was 5-for-8 from the field. Christopherson is averaging 15.1 points per game this season.
Phillips returns – Put the DeMarcus Phillips rumors to rest. After missing the last two games due to academic reasons, Phillips returned to Iowa State’s bench on Monday night, when he played four minutes. After the game, Hoiberg said that Phillips would have played sooner, but he’s fighting the flu.
“Everything is good. He got his business taken care of with the academics,” Hoiberg said. “He actually told me that he didn’t feel he could go in but we just didn’t have any other options. I was proud of the way that he went in there and at least gave us a few minutes tonight.”
Sluggish first half – The game was never in question as Iowa State led SEMO 45-30 at halftime. But still, the Cyclones didn’t play great basketball in the first 20 minutes. Nine turnovers in one half of basketball is never a good thing. It is tough to be too hard on the team for this though. Games like that are next to impossible to get up for. A lethargic start was somewhat expected against an 0-8 basketball team.
Jamie Vanderbeken – JVB is struggling right now. Vanderbeken, a fifth-year senior, went a substandard 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-6 from 3-point range while scoring eight points in Monday night’s win. For the third game in a row, he also got into foul trouble early in the game.
“I think it was frustration for him,” Hoiberg said. “He is like I was. I hated missing open shots. There is nothing worse as a shooter than when you get that exact shot that you’re looking for and it doesn’t go in for you. He let it affect him.”
Hoiberg went on to point out Vanderbeken’s seven rebounds in only 14 minutes of play as a positive.
3-point percentage – Heading into Monday, Iowa State had been one of the top 3-point shooting teams in America, averaging 9.1 threes per game, with a 42.2 percentage on the season.
In the SEMO win, the Cyclones went 5-for-18 from 3-point range, which is a drop-off at only 27.8 percent.
I know. That’s nitpicky for a 27-point win. I have to fill my “three down” though. Cut me some slack.
Maybe the team is saving some of those for Iowa on Friday.