Williams: Panthers slow down Cyclones

Brent Blum

Columnist

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Cedar Falls - Northern Iowa controlled the pace. Northern Iowa won by a 60-54 final.

You’ll hear a lot of talk about “tempo” at the water cooler on Thursday when co-workers discuss Northern Iowa's second-straight win over Iowa State.

The real story of this game though was that Northern Iowa out-rebounded the Cyclones 41-30.

“We have to clear the ball on the glass,” a dissatisfied Fred Hoiberg said after the game. “That is what allows us to control the tempo and get out to push the pace.”

Jamie Vanderbeken had a modest six rebounds to lead the way for the Cyclones. Iowa State’s leading rebounder on the season, senior Jake Anderson, only cleaned the glass three times.

“It was difficult, especially for me, who is known for rebounding,” Anderson said. “There is no excuse. I have to find a way. We all have to find a way to bring a lot more effort (rebounding) to an away game.”

What’s frustrating about this loss is that despite the rebounding differential and the tempo issues, Iowa State still had a shot to win the game at the end.

“It was one of those nights,” Hoiberg said numerous times during his post game press conference.

Yes it was coach. The Cyclones couldn’t buy a bucket. That was the difference.

UNI 60, ISU 54: BOX SCORE

CF’s PLAYER OF THE GAME

Jake Anderson – Well, somebody has to bring home the hardware. It might as well go to Jake Anderson because of his big shot mentality. “Uncle Jake” buried a life saving 3-pointer with 1:18 in the game to tie things up for the Cyclones. Unfortunately, nothing positive happened after that. Still, it is nice to have a senior step up and make big shots like that. It’s becoming a trend for Anderson. He did it in the Creighton game too. Anderson ended the night with 14 points, while going 5-of-11 from the floor.

THREE UP

Melvin Ejim’s future – When Melvin Ejim fouled out with 29 seconds to play, he was one ticked off freshman. Ejim was awfully animated while leaving the court. It wasn't bad sportsmanship. The guy just hates losing. After all, he did win a prep school national championship just a year ago. He’s vocal. He’s versitle. He’s mature beyond his years. Ejim is a great guy to build a program around.

Defense – Iowa State held Northern Iowa to 32.7 percent shooting on the night.

“I was proud of the way we defended,” Hoiberg said. “We just couldn’t make our shots tonight. That is the bottom line.”

Brent Blum on officiating – If you’ve ever listened to a CF Podcast before, you’ll know that my partner, Brent Blum loves officials. Blum tweaks officials as often as I critique George Strait, which isn't very often. Here’s a post from Blum’s Twitter feed midway through the second half.

“I love officials and even I can't stand Paul Janssen.


”

And there's one more….

“Would have been nice to see replays of the Ahlegbe non-travel and the DG travel. Those were dicey.

”

My work here is done. Time for Three Down.

THREE DOWN

Shooting – Iowa State went 18-of-54 from the field and 6-for-20 from 3-point range.

“Like I told those guys in the locker room, I’ll take those shots all year long. It was one of those nights,” Hoiberg said. “You hope that they don’t happen very often but every team has those nights. We had been shooting the heck out of it. We had been shooting with a lot of confidence. It is their style. They frustrate you by slowing down the pace of the game and I think that was the bottom line tonight.

Diante Garrett’s 2nd half –Diante Garrett was 5-of-11 from the field with 13 points at halftime. Garrett made his first bucket of the second half with 4:35 to play. Northern Iowa did the same thing to Iowa State that Creighton did. Ben Jacobson was hell bent on making Diante Garrett beat him.

“He has been finishing the heck out of the ball at the rim,” Hoiberg said. “Tonight, it seemed like there was a lid on the rim. He couldn’t get those to fall.”

Garrett went 2-for-12 in the second half and ended the game with 17 points.

“We had a lot of open shots and a lot of easy shots that we missed and normally make,” Garrett said.

This series - The Panthers have now won four out of five over the Cyclones.

QUOTEWORTHY

Fred Hoiberg on his first loss

“I should retire,” Hoiberg joked. “I guess we were due for a night like this, to come out and not have the offensive rhythm.”

NOTEBOOK

-       Junior reserve guard DeMarcus Phillips did not make the trip for Iowa State. In what was Fred Hoiberg’s decision, Phillips stayed back in Ames to focus on academics.

-       Northern Iowa won its 18th straight home game. The Panthers are now 22-4 against non-conference opponents inside of the McLeod Center.

-       Iowa State only committed eight turnovers in the loss.

WHO’S NEXT?

California – I smell a little adversity cooking in this basketball team’s kitchen. For the first time this season, the Cyclones will be forced to bounce back from a loss.

“They are very disappointed in that locker room,” Hoiberg said. “They should be. Losing stings and it hurts. It should hurt. We have to bounce back tomorrow, put in a good day’s work and start preparing for Cal.”

It will be a quick turnaround too for Iowa State as California will invade Hilton Coliseum on Saturday at 1 p.m., in the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Series.

How will the Cyclones respond?

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