Cyclones speed to 95-90 win over Colorado


Photo: Kendra Plathe/Iowa State Daily

Guard Jake Anderson rushes past his opponent for a layup during the Iowa State – Colorado game held Wednesday, March 2 at Hilton Coliseum. He scored 16 points for the night against Colorado.

Chris Cuellar

It was truly a rival’s send-off Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum.

In Iowa State’s last home game of the season, Cyclone seniors were honored and given a win, and long-time foe Colorado likely took a knockout blow to its NCAA tournament hopes.

The Cyclones held off several tough CU runs and beat the Buffaloes 95-90 in a speedy and energetic contest.

“It was back and forth,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. “When you have bad things happen to you, that’s when that fatigue sets in. But when you have that confidence, you have that swagger, you forget about it, you just go out there and play.”

Fueled by strong shooting efforts from freshman forward Calvin Godfrey and guard Scott Christopherson, Iowa State was able to outpace a high-scoring Colorado team. Godfrey and Christopherson finished with 23 and 17 points apiece. Colorado was led by guard Alec Burks, who had 24 points and nine rebounds.

“We were just in the flow of our games, with me penetrating and finding Jake [Anderson], Scott and Jamie [Vanderbeken],” said senior point guard Diante Garrett. “Everybody was just gelling together and doing what they do best.”

Despite the outpouring of offense, the Cyclones reciprocated their 95-69 defeat Feb. 1 to the Buffaloes by stopping Colorado’s scorers.

In Boulder, Colo., the Buffaloes shot 50 percent from the floor. They were held to 44 percent shooting Wednesday, with the Cyclones taking away most second-chance scoring opportunities.

“The big thing that I continue to stress to them, if we go out and continue to play with the energy we’ve been playing with, the wins will come,” Hoiberg said. “Sometimes it’s tough when you lose close game after close game to keep your confidence up and go out and play with passion and energy. Our guys have done that.”

Colorado’s small and speedy lineup caused the Cyclones troubles late in the first half, but Iowa State was able to regain the lead before halftime on a Garrett layup. Taking a 38-37 lead into halftime, then starting with an 11-2 run out of the tunnel, propelled the home squad in its last game at Hilton Coliseum.

“It feels real good, getting off of these losses that we’ve had,” Garrett said, after tying the ISU all-time record for games played. “Everybody just came out and was focused. We knew it was senior night, but we just came out and played hard the whole 40 minutes.”

All five Cyclone starters scored into double-digits and Iowa State was able to tally up its highest scoring total since Dec. 21, 2010.

The raucous atmosphere at Hilton Coliseum, the speed of the game and honoring the ISU seniors meant it was a home finale to remember for the 10,679 fans in attendance. The Cyclones have now won 19 out of their last 20 against Colorado in Ames.

“Our mission is just to win as many games and get on a roll for the Big 12 Tournament,” said Vanderbeken, a senior. “If we play spoiler, sorry.”