Jan 4, 2020; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Haliburton (22) shoots the ball during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports
It turns out having one of the best point guards in college basketball can help, but, apparently, not quite enough.
Iowa State sophomore Tyrese Haliburton recorded the sixth triple-double in program history, and the first since Monte Morris in 2016, on Saturday with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, but the Cyclones still fell 81-79 in overtime to open Big 12 play against TCU in Fort Worth.
Haliburton knocked down 7-of-17 shots, including 3-of-7 from three, plus added three steals in his return from a one-game absence due to a wrist injury. The Cyclones lost to Florida A&M, who entered the game 1-9, at Hilton Coliseum in Haliburton’s one game out.
Sophomore center George Conditt was probably the biggest benefactor of Haliburton’s success distributing the basketball as he finished with a career-high 19 points while playing 31 minutes, also a career-high, and grabbing six rebounds.
Rasir Bolton was the third Iowa State sophomore to finish in double-figures with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line while senior Prentiss Nixon played one of his most efficient games of the season scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and going 1-of-1 from 3-point range.
The Cyclones struggled mightily at the rim, finishing just 9-of-20 on layups, due in large part to TCU sophomore center Kevin Samuel, who recorded six blocks to go along with 16 points.
In the end, it was sophomore guard RJ Nembhard who made the biggest impact for TCU offensively scoring a career-high 31 points and knocking down 6-of-8 from deep, including a banked-in shot from near halfcourt to tie the game and force overtime with 1.7 seconds left in regulation, after entering the game shooting 25 percent from behind the arc.
While the game will certainly go down as a disappointing loss, and the Cyclones continued to struggle (extra emphasis on struggle) in defending the pick and roll, there was progress in made in a number of areas, most notably shot selection. It also should be a sign of things to come with Conditt earning more minutes as conference play begins.
Iowa State will be back in action on Tuesday when Kansas visits Hilton Coliseum.