AMES — Iowa State hasn’t wowed its fans with an impressive shooting performance at Hilton Coliseum once this season.
Prior to Sunday’s 89-59 victory over Purdue Fort Wayne most of the games have been rather close and sloppy.
Everything clicked three days before Christmas, though.
Tyrese Haliburton threw down some big dunks and finished with six three-pointers. Solomon Young was 7-for-8 from the field. Even Terrence Lewis got in on the scoring, with 11.
It all came together to give fans a ‘no-doubt W’ by the halftime break, where the Cyclones led by 22.
“I don’t know if it’s anything that we’re doing that’s different,” Haliburton said. “I just think guys are shooting with confidence. We haven’t been shooting the ball well this year and that’s an understatement.”
Haliburton finished with 22 points and six assists, marking his eighth-straight game scoring 17 or more. He said as long as his team keeps encouraging each other, the shots should continue to fall.
“[We] just [have] constant reminders and having faith in your ability,” Haliburton said. “I think it’s a big thing as teammates to have faith in each other. We have faith in everybody [to keep shooting the ball].”
Haliburton capped off his game with one final, no-look, bounce pass to a player in Lewis that hasn’t seen the court a bunch this season. The junior was basically thrown to the wayside in the first part of the season, failing to appear in five of the team’s first nine games.
When he did appear in one of those first nine games, the most he played was five minutes and change.
In Iowa State’s 10th game – a blowout loss to Iowa – Prohm threw Lewis out in a move that essentially said, ‘What else can we try?’
On Sunday, Lewis played his second straight game with his playing time in the double digits.
“Terrence helped us offensively tonight, and we’ve got to keep harping him on the defensive side,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “He made shots, and that’s something we needed, but there’s a lot of things from a coaching standpoint that he’s got to refine.”
Lewis will try to respond, but his 11 points against the Mastodons helped Iowa State get through a set of 40 minutes that Prohm was worried about.
With a 10-day layoff between Iowa State’s last game and this one, as well as a three-day break from the action on the horizon for the team, there was a cause for concern that his team might not, ‘get up.’
“I worry about these games probably more than the [big] ones,” Prohm said. “These games, [coming from coaching experience] at different levels, you know what some of those teams are capable of.”
Nonetheless, the Cyclones got through it with ease, and they won’t see the court again until another tune-up game on New Years Eve.
That will give Prohm and his team plenty of time to get ready for the Big 12 opener at TCU on January 4.
“I was already thinking, ‘Let’s just get through this game, so that when I see them on the 27th, everyone will be in a great mood,'” Prohm said. “The guys will come back with great energy. They’re going to be out of shape and we know that. By two or three days later, we’ll be ready to go.”
For now, the team will take its Christmas break with a 7-4 record and a 30-point win to rest on.
“The season is long,” Young said after the game. “It’s taxing. Being home for a few days and seeing my family is good. I need it.”