Feb 11, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Jalen Coleman-Lands (5) shoots against Kansas Jayhawks guard Latrell Jossell (4) and guard Tristan Enaruna (13) during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
In recent narrow losses to TCU and No. 9 Oklahoma, Iowa State’s failure to execute late in games framed the disappointing results.
Thursday night at Kansas, the Cyclones simply had nothing for the Jayhawks.
ISU (2-13, 0-10 Big 12) hung tough the majority of he first half, but couldn’t string together makes or stops, and left Allen Fieldhouse on the short end of a 97-64 rout.
“We didn’t even give ourselves a chance,” Cyclone guard Jalen Coleman-Lands said on the Cyclone Radio Network postgame show “And it was rooted (in) our effort.”
The Cyclones shot just 20% from 3-point range (5-for-25) and had just eight assists on 24 made field goals.
The Jayhawks (14-7, 8-5) drained 8 of 13 3-pointers in the second half and committed just seven turnovers.
“Defensively, our purpose on dribble hand offs, the jump switch that to get up on the 3-point line, being in help, not fronting (David) McCormack — McCormack we’re supposed to play side front and push him off … it’s all those little things,” Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said. “(We’ll) reiterate that over the next day and a half and be ready (for Saturday’s rematch).”
Coleman-Lands drilled 3-pointers en route to a Cyclone career-best 20-point effort. Solomon Young added 10 points and Rasir Bolton had nine.
The Cyclones suffered their third loss of 21 or more points in the past seven games and were outscored 58-37 in the second half.
“Our energy wasn’t there tonight,” Young said. “We weren’t executing like we should have (been). Overall, just as a team, we kind of flopped tonight and we can’t let that happen again.”
ISU did manage to attempt as many free throws as Kansas — and made 11 of 14. It was just the third time this season the Cyclones shot more free throws than an opponent, but obviously that mattered little when coupled with lackluster play throughout.
“The first thing we have to do is bring energy and compete, which is something we can control and something we didn’t do tonight,” Coleman-Lands said. “It starts with that — the effort — and next after that is the mental preparation. We had too many mental lulls.”
Eliminating those as well as amping up the energy will be key when the Cyclones square off with the Jayhawks again Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.
ISU is in the midst of a regular season-closing stretch of nine games in 21 days, so it gets no easier in terms of energy and staying sharp mentally.
Kansas has won the last three games in the series by 20 points or more, but the Cyclones are convinced they can rebound from Thursday’s lopsided setback.
“We’ve got to play with better purpose, poise and productivity on Saturday,” Prohm said. “And if we do that, man, I feel good about us putting ourselves in a great position to win on Saturday.”