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Basketball

The Breakdown: Iowa State vs. Texas Southern

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Iowa State (8-2) vs. Texas Southern (1-6)
Sunday, 5:30 p.m. * Hilton Coliseum
Mediacom/ESPN3/ESPN Full Court – Cyclone Radio Network

Less than 48 hours after their 75-72 win at Iowa, the Cyclones will host Texas Southern on early Sunday evening before getting a full week off due to finals.

Let’s break it down.

BREAKING DOWN THE CYCLONES

Iowa State’s probable starters

G: Diante Garrett, 6-4 Sr. – 16.3 PPG, 6.0 APG
G:
Jake Anderson, 6-2 Sr. – 12.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG
G:
Scott Christopherson, 6-3 Jr. – 16.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG
F:
Melvin Ejim, 6-6 Fr. – 13.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG
F:
Jamie Vanderbeken, 6-11 Sr. – 9.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG

Welcome to Scott Christopherson’s world.

“He’s playing on another level right now,” Fred Hoiberg said after Friday night’s win.

Hoiberg was right. Christopherson, who is also now known as “Hawkeye Killer,” went nuts to drop 30 on Iowa, while going 7-of-12 from long range. After that performance, Christopherson now leads Iowa State in scoring at 16.6 points per game. He’s made five or more 3-pointers in a game three times this season and has hit 35 treys on the season, which ranks second nationally.

As my good friend Bobby La Gesse (sports editor of the Ames Tribune) put it on Friday night, “If this were the game NBA Jam, Christopherson would be on fire.”

Christopherson wasn’t the only Cyclone who contributed to the win though. Freshman Melvin Ejim arguably played his best game in a Cyclone uniform while going 6-of-9 from the field, scoring 15 points and recording seven rebounds.

And finally, despite his dreadful shooting night (5-of-24), Iowa State wouldn’t have escaped Carver Hawkeye with a victory without Diante Garrett’s six rebounds, six assists and four steals.

We saw an outstanding individual performance by Christopherson, but an overall total team victory.

BREAKING DOWN THE TIGERS

G: Abdallah Boune, 6-5 Sr. – 2.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG
G:
Kevin Galloway, 6-7 Sr. – 13.7 PPG, 7.9 APG
G:
Lawrence Johnson-Danner, 6-4 Fr. – 16.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG
F:
Aaron Clayborn, 6-6 So. – 7.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG
F:
Keithtrick Denson, 6-7 Jr. – 3.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG

The 1-6 Texas Southern Tigers have played some interesting opponents so far in 2010. Their season began with a 14-point loss to Drake in Des Moines. After a 12-point loss to a good Wichita State team, Texas Southern lost to Oklahoma by 30, defeated Oregon State (in Corvallis) by six and lost to Oregon, Kansas State and North Texas.

This shouldn’t be much of a game, but if any sort of a Hawkeye hangover exists for Iowa State, the first half has the potential to be interesting.

Essentially, two players are relevant on this roster. Lawrence Johnson-Danner is a 6-foot-4 freshman out of Detroit who is averaging 16.6 points per game. Then there’s Kevin Galloway, a 6-foot-7 senior who’s averaging 13.7 points per game. Galloway is one of the nation’s leaders in assists, averaging 7.9 dimes per game. He had a career-high 12 assists in Texas Southern’s win over Oregon State.

NOTEBOOK

–       Sunday could be a historical day for Diante Garrett. He is 26 points shy of 1,000. When he reaches that milestone, Garrett will be the 28th member of Iowa State’s 1,000-point club.

–       Iowa State is averaging 9.0 3-pointers per game as a team. That ties the Cyclones for 17th nationally. Iowa State has nailed 10 or more 3-pointers in a game this year.

–       The Cyclones are 4-0 all-time vs. Texas Southern. The last time these two teams met was in 2007. Iowa State won that game by 79-55 final. The Cyclones are 15-0 all-time vs. SWAC teams.

–       Melvin Ejim’s 62.2 field goal percentage ranks third in the Big 12.

PREDICTION

Think Montana State. I see the Cyclones being a little bit sluggish early on and then blowing this team out over the last 30 minutes of play.

THE PICK

Iowa State 85, Texas Southern 65

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