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Basketball

WILLIAMS: Five takeaways from ISU’s win in Manhattan

Feb 15, 2017; Manhattan, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Steve Prohm watches the action during a game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Fred Bramlage Coliseum. The Cyclones won the game, 87-79. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Solomon Young was great.

But there were other bright spots from Iowa State’s (16-9, 8-5) 87-79 win over Kansas State (16-10, 5-8) on Wednesday night. Here are five additional takeaways.

A fast start on the road

This is what plagued Iowa State in its most recent road game, last Tuesday’s two-point loss to Texas. Iowa State jumped out to an early 19-point lead, which forced Kansas State to be in catch-up mode the rest of the way.

Staved off the K-State run

Weird stat: Iowa State led Kansas State 43-26 at halftime when these two teams met on Jan. 24. Of course, the Wildcats eventually took the lead in the second half of that game in Ames that the Cyclones found a way to grind out.

Halftime of this one: 42-26, Iowa State.

From the fans on Twitter to the team in the locker room, everybody knew that Kansas State had a run in them.

“The message in the locker room was that they were going to get hot at some point,” Naz Mitrou-Long, who had 16 points, told the Cyclone Radio Network after the game. “It was all about how we would respond and we did a great job of that tonight.”

Kansas State chipped away for a good 10-minute stretch in the second half but never pulled the game closer to within six.

“We went through a stretch where it got sloppy. Some bad offense,” Steve Prohm said. “We pushed it back out and went to another stretch and it got back to eight. I credit these guys for sticking with it and finishing the game because this isn’t an easy place to play.”

Iowa State made 22-of-26 free throws too, which iced the game away down the stretch.

WILLIAMS: How Solomon Young changes Iowa State’s outlook

Seniors making big plays

I give a lot of credit to Iowa State’s seniors. February and March is when experience pays off the most, especially in the backcourt.

I’ll get to Deonte Burton in a moment, but Matt Thomas hit two clutch threes down the stretch to stop Kansas State runs.

Monte Morris did Monte Morris things in the game’s final moments while Mitrou-Long’s leadership refused to let this team blow a 19-point lead.

INSTANT REACTION PODCAST: Iowa State 87, Kansas State 79

Deonte Burton’s consistency

I brought this up to Prohm during his Monday press conference this week and Deonte Burton’s 17 point (6-for-10), six rebound outing was very refreshing.

These days, is Deonte, dare I say, consistent?

“I thought today that he was really under control,” Prohm said. “He made big plays, defended. I think all of these guys understand that it’s winning time.”

Put it all together

Steve Prohm’s new challenge to his team:

“We haven’t played back-to-back full games in a week together,” Prohm said. “We have to go home and we have to play well because we have a really good team that we are going against.”

Iowa State will host TCU, which lost narrowly to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night, on Saturday at 5 p.m. (ESPNNews).

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