Iowa State streaks to second 12-0 start in school history

Iowa State still hasn’t lost a basketball game this season.

The No. 9 Cyclones ended their pre-holiday break portion of the season on Tuesday night, defeating Chicago State 79-48 and improving to 12-0 for the second time in school history.

“I’m proud of our guys understanding our identity defensively and what we need to do to be successful,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “When you have a game right before guys are going home for the holidays, you want to make sure the guys are focused, that they’re intentional and that they understand the task at hand. For the most part, I thought we did that.”

The Cyclones were graced with double-doubles from both Izaiah Brockington and Tristan Enaruna.

The 19-point, 10-rebound performance from Enaruna proved to be one of his best games in a Cyclone uniform to date.

Brockington’s 20-point, 13-rebound night marked his sixth double-double of the season and third in the past five games.

“We came in here trying to establish daily work habits and standards and commitment to upholding those to our program,” Otzelberger said. “To me (the 12-0 start) is about pride in our program. I love Iowa State. I love our fans and I want the pride that I have for Iowa State to come out in our players every time we take the court.”

Tre Jackson finished the night with a pair of 3-pointers and Caleb Grill collected a healthy 11 points.

Robert Jones did not play in the contest and Jaden Walker was not in attendance due to a non-COVID-19 illness.

Iowa State will give its players a four-day break for the holidays, before they return to campus to prepare to face No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 1.

“They know what we have in front of us and what they’ve accomplished,” Otzelberger said. “We’ll have them back on the morning of (Dec. 26). They’ll get that special time to share with their families.”

Until then, fans might take some more time to soak in the start Iowa State has had.

It comes before a gauntlet of a Big 12 schedule that has the potential to pit the Cyclones against six AP Top 25 teams in a row.

This group of players is tasked with how the start of the year reflects the end.

“I’m definitely proud,” Brockington said. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘satisfaction.’ Every time the rankings come out, it’s nice, but the general feel is that the job’s not finished. It’s a good start, but we don’t want to be ‘the team that started off good and flamed out.’”

Iowa State will open Big 12 play with that game against Baylor at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 1.

The game will be televised on ESPNU at 1:00 p.m. and marks the first top 10 matchup in the building since No. 9 Iowa State beat No. 7 Baylor on January 7, 2014.