Cyclones dominate Chicago State 104-63


Guard Diante Garrett goes up for a shot during the second half of the game against Texas Southern. Garrett and Scott Christopherson lead the team in scoring with a total of 16 points for each of them.

Chris Cuellar

It was as dominant an effort as the Cyclones have put on the floor at Hilton Coliseum in a few years, just not many fans got to see it.

Just four nights before Christmas and with most of the student body home for the holidays, Iowa State trounced visiting Chicago State 104-63 on a chilly Tuesday night.

Anytime the Cyclones can close the first half on a 24-0 run, hold the opponent scoreless for nearly 10 minutes and feature a big dunk from reserve freshman Eric McKnight, coach Fred Hoiberg will take it.

“We closed out the half exactly the way we wanted to,” Hoiberg said. “Sometimes these are tough games coming out, in the ‘getaway game’. You see it in the NBA all the time, the last game on the road trip is an extremely hard game to get ready for and play, knowing you’re getting out of there and getting home. I was proud of these guys for finishing this one off.”

It was a dominant effort from top to bottom, as the Cyclones managed to shoot 50 percent from the floor, and forced 24 Cougar turnovers that turned into 30 points for the home squad.

Iowa State hadn’t scored 100 points in a regular season game since putting up 101 against Mountain State in 2005 and the most against a Division I school in regulation since 2000.

The 11-2 start is the best for the Cyclones since the 2000-’01 season, and puts Hoiberg alongside Tim Floyd as the only two Cyclone coaches to start their careers 11-2.

“It was exciting,” said freshman forward Melvin Ejim. “It’s the type of basketball that we can play. We got a good one today and we gotta know that we can keep playing like that.”

Chicago State, a Great West team struggling to open the season, didn’t fare much better than usual Tuesday. The Cougars allowed 100 points in four consecutive games earlier this season, and shooting just 38.5 percent from the floor, weren’t close at intermission. The Cougars were listed at No. 333 of 335 in scoring defense by the NCAA before the game started, allowing 88.2 points per contest. This 104 won’t help.

“We’re not going to see a lot of teams that play this way,” Hoiberg said. “The way these guys change up their defenses all the time, the one thing that it did allow us to work on was our spacing on the break. Our spacing was tremendous, especially after we got them to turn the ball over.”

For a high-octane, up-tempo squad like Iowa State, getting to the triple-digit mark for the first time in Hoiberg’s career could be considered a nice milestone. The previous season high had been 91, tied in three straight games back in November.

“That’s the challenge for us, we have to keep our intensity no matter if it’s close or if it’s a blow out,” said senior guard Jake Anderson. “The game still has to be played and anything can happen.”

Six Cyclones hit double-digits in scoring for the second time this season, with Ejim getting all 18 of his points in the first half. Garrett tied the rookie with 18 points himself. Chicago State was paced by Carl Montgomery with a game-high 25 points.

Iowa State will get a break for four days before coming back and traveling out to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers. The game will be the first outside the state of Iowa for the Cyclones, and tips off at 7 p.m. on Dec. 30.