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Basketball

Hot shooting key in lackluster win over Northern Colorado

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

Bombs away.

Iowa State (3-1) made a school-record 16 3-pointers in a 90-82 win over Northern Colorado (0-4) on Tuesday night.

Fred Hoiberg didn’t celebrate that record-breaking performance with his team after the game though.

After taking a 52-39 lead into halftime, the Cyclones allowed Northern Colorado to shoot 56.7 percent in the second half and after the game, Hoiberg was rightfully frustrated.

“We were fortunate to walk out of this game with a win. That’s what I feel fortunate about," said Hoiberg. "If we don’t make shots at an unbelievable clip tonight, we get beat. We are sitting in here very disappointed in ourselves for not finding a way to bury a team that you have to take out."

“I could care less about the 3-point shooting. We let them get into such a rhythm in the second half. They came out, they make eight of their first 10 shots. A lot of times it doesn’t matter what you do defensively now because of the rhythm that they are in. They come out and they start raining threes on you. It is tough to get stops when you allow a team to get a rhythm like that.”

More from the win…

BOX SCORE: Iowa State 90, Northern Colorado 82

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Chris Allen – Cyclone fans finally got a look at what a healthy Chris Allen looks like. The senior led Iowa State in scoring on Tuesday with 23 points while going 8-of-16 from the field. Allen is finally starting to fully recover from a hip pointer injury that he suffered a week before the season began.

“Finally I feel a lot better. I was probably still 85 percent," said Allen. “It’s really just a lot of the movement and then when I jump it feels like somebody it hitting me inside every time that I jump. It’s getting a lot better though.”

Allen said that his coaches have been putting pressure on him to look to score more.

“They told me that I’ve been passing up a lot of shots and that I need to be more aggressive," said Allen. "I just took the initiative and any time that I thought I had a good shot I took it.”

Allen’s health is starting to come around at the right time as Iowa State’s schedule will get significantly tougher over the next couple of weeks.

THREE UP

Shooting – Despite the uninterested defensive effort by the Cyclones, Iowa State’s 16-for-36 performance from behind the arch was impressive. Six Cyclones converted on 3-pointers in the win. Chris Babb led the way going 3-for-4 from long range. He’s now now 13-for-23 on the season from long distance. With his 3-for-7 3-point performance against Northern Colorado, junior Tyrus McGee is now 12-for-17 from down town this season.

It’s also worth noting that the Cyclones went 18-for-20 from the charity stripe in the win.

Balance – In a game where you score 90 points and break a school-record for 3-pointers made, you expect this. Six Cyclones recorded double figures in the win including: Chris Allen 23, Melvin Ejim, 12, Chris Babb, 11, Scott Christopherson 11, Tyrus McGee 11 and Royce White with 10.

Percy Gibson – One of the biggest positives to come out of Tuesday was the emergence of freshman big man Percy Gibson. Gibson, who hails from Detroit, Mich., played a career-high 13 minutes, while going 3-for-3 from the field, collecting six points and five rebounds along the way.

“Percy was great. He has been really working hard in practice," said Hoiberg. "I give him credit for staying ready. He is a really effective back to the basket player. We are going to need easy baskets at time this year and Percy is a guy who can give you those.”

Honorable Mention: Iowa State turned the basketball over a season-low eight times in the win.

THREE DOWN

Defense – Hoiberg’s postgame quotes say it all about Iowa State’s defensive effort Tuesday night.

— “On the defensive end of the floor, you have to have a certain mindset in order to get stops or else you are going to allow a team to get into too good of a rhythm. That was the bottom line tonight.”

— “You have to have it in you to go out there and guard people. You can go drill after drill after drill after drill and we put a big emphasis on that end of the floor. Then you come out in a game and they are too comfortable. Again, you’ve got to find a way.”

Rebounding – Iowa State 34, Northern Colorado 33.

Momentum – After waxing Western Carolina by 32 on Sunday, Iowa State had a legitimate opportunity to blow out a below-average Northern Colorado team before leaving for South Padre on Wednesday morning. With a 13-point lead at halftime, it looked like that was going to be the case early on. Instead, a lackluster second half has the Cyclone Nation not feeling much better about things than it did after the Drake loss a week ago.

"We need to grow on the defensive end of the floor. That’s it," said Hoiberg. "Offense is fine. I think that we corrected a lot of things after that Drake game as far as kind of simplifying and moving the ball around the horn. But the big thing that we need to do is find a way, every single night to make a stand on the defensive end of the floor."