Basketball

STANZ: Five points on Iowa State’s 75-74 win over Oklahoma

Feb 4, 2019; Norman, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones bench reacts after a three point basket against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State basketball will be the reason I die young.

The Cyclones took another step towards the top of the Big 12 on Monday with a 75-74 win over Oklahoma in Norman, but it wasn’t easy. Here are five thoughts on the Cyclones’ sixth win in seven games.

1 – Marial Shayok has bigger nuts than the sack of pecans a guy brought me at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday.

Alright, quick story: Saturday during Iowa State’s 65-60 win over Texas, I’m sitting at my seat on press row during halftime. A guy comes up and taps me on the shoulder. He hands me a bag of maple pecans and says, “Thank you for your work. Enjoy the nuts,” then walks away.

It was simultaneously one of the most awesome and weirdest moments I have experienced in that building. Awesome because those pecans were delicious and I’d never had pecans before so that was cool. Weird because someone randomly handed me a sack of nuts.

Shayok proved his nuts are bigger than that bag of pecans when he pulled up for a 3-pointer with Iowa State and Oklahoma tied at 69. The shot, Shayok’s second 3-pointer of the game on a night in which he went 5-of-10 from the field on his way to 16 points, put Iowa State up three and gave the Cyclones the lead for good.

The Big 12’s leading scorer has not shot well in the last two games, but he’s also knocked down shots when the team needed it most in both. We’re going to look back at him as one of the best transfers to ever play in Cardinal and Gold.

2 – Talen Horton-Tucker is so dang crafty.

Iowa State’s freshman phenom was not overly efficient on the night shooting just 5-of-13 from the field for 11 points. But, the shots he got to fall consistently had me thinking about how crafty he is in creating his own shots.

It is hard to believe he just turned 18 sometimes and nights like this help you understand why he has some NBA scouts drooling.

3 – Playing Oklahoma on the road is great for my Twitter impressions.

Last year’s loss to the Sooners in Norman produced my highest-trafficked tweet of all-time when Lindell Wigginton, who scored a team-high 17 points on Monday, put Khadeem Lattin on a poster. This game produced several high-level dunks that I, in turn, took videos of and threw them on Twitter.

All of those tweets have done quite well when it comes to being seen. If Iowa State played every game in Norman, I would probably have more followers than a Kardashian.

4 – These freshmen are not scared of the moment.

THT did his thing. Tyrese Haliburton scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point line. These guys are in no way concerned about the position Iowa State currently finds itself in.

The Cyclones are in the heat of the Big 12 race, but these two kids who were playing high school basketball a year ago are just out there having fun.

5 – I’m scared the book is out on Iowa State.

This is two games in a row that teams have largely been able to shut Iowa State’s offense down. The Cyclones shot 44.4 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. I don’t think it necessarily means this will last, but it seems like teams are realizing they can pack it in then force the Cyclones to shoot over them.

Regardless, the Cyclones got a win and that’s hard to do on the road in the Big 12. I’m never going to complain about that.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared is in his sixth year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He's the site's lead reporter for ISU recruiting. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as the full-time staff writer in May 2016. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.