Sluggish Cyclones limp past Texas Southern
By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
A win is a win right? Iowa State defeated Texas Southern 65-54 on Sunday evening.
That is correct. But without a doubt, it was the worst game that the Cyclones have played all season long. You can't really blame them though.
The combination of the Friday night’s emotional win, terrible weather, a weak crowd and looming finals all contributed to the Hawkeye hangover that fans saw inside of Hilton Coliseum on Sunday evening.
“I knew it was going to be a tough one,” Fred Hoiberg said after the game. “I remember playing in these types of games. You have to find a way. You have to dig in. The guys did come out and play with energy. We missed some wide-open shots early in that game, which allowed them to control the tempo of the game.”
CF PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jamie Vanderbeken - I really don’t believe that there was a true “player of the game” for Iowa State on but the award has to go to somebody. Diante Garrett and Scott Christopherson led the Cyclones in scoring with 16 points a piece. Points aren’t everything though. I’m giving Sunday night’s hardware to Jamie Vanderbeken. It’s been well documented how much JVB has struggled over the past five games. On Sunday, Vanderbeken had 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and five blocks in the Cyclone victory.
“He stuffed the stat sheet today,” said Hoiberg. “I thought he was great. He gave us great energy early.”
From a confidence standpoint, Vanderbeken needed this one.
People who showed up – If you went to either game that was played in Hilton on Sunday (the women beat Columbia 73-27), you my friend are a die-hard. While walking from my car to Hilton before the game, I thought to myself, “we should all get some sort of a tip for living in this place.” Ames' local Polar Bears chapter thought it was cold. I don’t blame anybody who sat this one out to watch the game on television, along with some NFL football. But if you did make the trip, here’s a hug and hand pound to you my friend.
Next two games – The Cyclones get a full week off for finals before going head-to-head with Dartmouth and Chicago State on Dec. 19 and 21. Put the car on cruise control fanatics. Dartmouth (3-5) is bad. Chicago State (2-8) is one of the worst teams in all of division one college basketball. Both teams have new coaches and are trying to find any sort of an identity. With finals behind them, expect Iowa State’s next two contests to be routs before heading to Virginia on Dec. 30.
Time off – The Cyclones need it.
“I only played Scott 39 (minutes) tonight,” Hoiberg joked after the game.
Hoiberg said that his team will not practice on Monday or Thursday of this week, while “taking it easy” on Tuesday and Wednesday. The goal is for the Cyclones’ legs to be at 100 percent next Sunday against Dartmouth.
Atmosphere – I’m being nice when I write that Hilton wasn’t exactly hopping on Sunday evening. But like I mentioned above, I don’t blame fans for not showing up. At the end of the game, KCCI’s weather report called for a -2 degree drive home. I'm pretty sure that was a conservative forecast too. It didn’t help that the Cyclones played a 1-6 team from the SWAC.
Shooting – Texas Southern went 19-of-54 from the field (35.2 percent). The Cyclones were 22-of-60 (36.7). Both teams shot below 30 percent from 3-point range in the game. The weather outside leaked into the arena to affect shooting in this one.
Christopherson’s 3-point percentage – The guy had to miss a few shots eventually. Scott Christopherson went 4-of-12 from 3-point range in Sunday’s win. Christopherson is now 39-of-71 from long range on the season, dropping his percentage to .549. Don’t get me wrong…That is still really good. But it dropped five percentage points on Sunday.