Cyclones try to regroup after dropping sixth straight


Photo: Bryan Langfeldt/Iowa State Daily

Guard Diante Garrett is fouled while trying to lay the ball up. Iowa State lost its sixth-straight game in a nail-biter against Kansas State.

Jake Lovett

Iowa State shot 56 percent from the field, had four players score in double figures and held a four-point lead with 52 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game.

None of that would be enough, though, and the Cyclones dropped their sixth-straight game, 86-85 at the hands of Kansas State.

“We’ve got to find a way,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. “We shot 56 percent at home, and we’ve got to find a way to win those games.”

Diante Garrett and Scott Christopherson led the way for the Cyclones with 23 and 22 points, but KSU guard Jacob Pullen scored 17 points in the second half alone, including five in the final-minute to push the Wildcats over the top.

The loss came as just another disappointment for the Cyclones, who have now surrendered late leads in three of the six losses.

“I don’t think it’s a confidence thing,” Christopherson said. “It’s just paying attention to the small details, execution, and it’s not any one guy. It’s all 10 of us being a little more locked in at the end of a game.”

Iowa State trailed for much of the second half, until the 6:09 mark when forward Jamie Vanderbeken hit a three, giving the Cyclones a one-point edge.

They would hold that advantage, and push it to as many as six points after a late 10-0 lead, but the deeper, more experienced Wildcats whittled the lead down to four going into the last minute.

“You give them credit, they made big plays,” Hoiberg said. “We made some plays, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way there at the end.”

Despite the loss, Iowa State never trailed by more than seven points, after facing double-digit deficits in each of the first five losses during the streak.

“I told them I was proud of them for their effort tonight, for going out there and they fought all night long,” Hoiberg said. “They gave us a chance.”

The Cyclones are now alone at the bottom of the Big 12 standings (1-8 in conference), and trail 11th-place Texas Tech by two games.

The schedule doesn’t get easier going forward, either, as the Cyclones’ next four opponents are all currently ranked in the top 25, including No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Texas.

“We’ve just got to see what we did wrong and get better at it,” Garrett said.