Iowa State has secured its first win over a top-25 opponent since Dec. 2019 and its first 5-0 start since 2016-17.
Those feats were accomplished on Wednesday with the Cyclones’ 82-70 blowout win over No. 25 Xavier at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the first round of the Preseason NIT Tip-Off.
Iowa State will play the winner of the event’s second contest between No. 9 Memphis and Virginia Tech on Friday. The game should tip shortly after 9 p.m. central time on ESPN2.
The Cyclones were led in this game by an electric second-half performance from Izaiah Brockington. The transfer from Penn State scored 23 of his game-high 30 points after halftime, shooting 12-of-19 on the night, and 10-of-13 from the field in the second 20 minutes. He added a team-high six rebounds to go along with three assists.
Brockington is the first Cyclone to score 30 points in a game since Lindell Wigginton accomplished that feat in Jan. 2018.
Brockington was joined in double figures scoring by freshman guard Tyrese Hunter, Gabe Kalscheur and George Conditt. Hunter finished the game with 19 points, five steals, four rebounds and two assists while Kalscheur’s line closed with 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Conditt fouled out of the game after playing 16 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds.
Iowa State’s stifling defensive effort to start the year made the trip east as Xavier shot just 43.3 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from 3-point range on 3-of-21 attempts. The Cyclones also forced 17 turnovers by the Musketeers.
Meanwhile, Iowa State shot 10-of-20 from 3-point range with Brockington, Hunter and Kalscheur connecting on nine of those makes.
While there’s still a lot of season left to play, this team continues to raise expectation levels as it rolls on in the program’s best start since Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long, Matt Thomas and Deonte Burton were wearing Cardinal and Gold.