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Basketball

STANZ: What can’t Lindell Wigginton do?

Dec 7, 2017; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Lindell Wigginton (5) scores on an easy layup in the second half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at James H. Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 84 to 78. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

DES MOINES — Nothing the kid does should surprise you.

Through 10 games in his college career, Lindell Wigginton has given reason to believe he can do it all.

Score in double-digits night in, night out? Check. Rebound? Check. Pass? Check. Knockdown 3-pointers at a high clip? Check. Hit big shots in a rivalry game? Check.

Carry the team in the second half and lead the charge towards a double-digit win over a quality in-state opponent? Check.

That last item on the list is exactly what Iowa State’s freshman phenom did Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena as he scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Cyclones to a 76-65 win over Northern Iowa.

“He’s got a little dog in him,” senior point guard Nick Weiler-Babb, who pitched in 15 points and eight rebounds of his own, said. “I won’t say dog, I’ll call him a little puppy. He played well today and he came out in that second half with a whole new energy.”

The Cyclones needed that spark coming out of the halftime break with the Panthers leading by three. Iowa State took its first lead since the 15:44 mark of the first half with 13:24 left, but the Panthers answered quickly to regain the advantage.

The game went back and forth that way for several minutes before Wigginton’s spark finally broke through at the 9:28 mark. The 6-foot-2 guard scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key that gave the Cyclones their largest lead of the game at 56-50.

“Once he made a basket or two it was more about, ‘Hey, what do we got to do to get him the ball where he’s got a crease to drive it,’” Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm said. “He can get to the front of the rim so we did a couple things just to get it in his hands.”

“The three at the top, that’s when he really had it going.”

Really had it going may be an understatement. Against a team that ranks among the nation’s best defensively, Wigginton was able to find the paint time and time again. He showed off every aspect of his game while knocking down 7-of-12 shots, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing two assists.

It was his fourth 20-point game of the season, which is already tied for fifth in program history by a freshman, and it was the eighth time he’s scored 10-plus. His 16.6 points per game would be the highest scoring average by a freshman in program history.

What can’t Lindell Wigginton do? That’s the question people should be asking after Saturday.

Nothing the kid does should surprise you.

“He’s got the ability to make a lot of plays,” Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson said. “Obviously, watched a lot of film on him coming in and seeing him today, not seeing him every day like Steve would, I would just tell you that he lets the game come to him enough. With his ability to make threes, his ability to get by guys, he’s got that pull-up game, he can do a lot of things with the basketball.”

“He plays the game the way that’s going to help their team. That says a lot about a guy that is in his first year.”

Notes

*** Iowa State has won eight consecutive games, the second-longest streak under Steve Prohm (9 games to open the 2015-16 season).

*** Iowa State is 5-1 all-time in the Hy-Vee Classic and 6-3 overall in Wells Fargo Arena.

*** Donovan Jackson‘s 10 points gave him his 17th career game in double-figures. He now ranks third on ISU’s career 3-point percentage chart (.429, 75-175) after going 1-of-4 from deep on Saturday.

*** Jeff Beverly made his first two 3-pointers of the season.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.