Christopherson perfect in Cyclones’ rout of Drake


Scott Christopherson shoots the ball during Wednesday night’s game against Drake. Christopherson was 100 percent in shooting for the night with 29 total points.

Jake Lovett

If it seemed like Scott Christopherson couldn’t miss Wednesday night, it’s because he didn’t.

The junior was perfect from everywhere on the floor, hitting all 11 of his shots, including a 5-5 performance from 3-point range. He finished with 29 points, a career high, leading Iowa State to its 91-43 win over Drake.

“I could sense in shootaround today that Scottie was going to have a great night,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. “Scottie was finding the seam, and those guys just continued to look for him every single time down the floor. “

Anytime Christopherson lined up a shot, the Hilton crowd sensed a make coming, and they weren’t once disappointed. He hit shots from the wing, the top of the key and the baselines, as well as inside the 3-point arc on his way to tying an ISU record held by Mark Baugh.

Shooting 5-of-5 from the 3-point range also tied an ISU record held by Ron Bayless. The perfect night pushed Christopherson to the top of Iowa State’s all-time 3-point percentage list at 45.7 percent shooting.

“The ball was moving on the offensive end, and I ended up being the recipient of a lot of those passes,” Christopherson said. “That could have been anybody out there tonight. It’s hard to guard when the ball is moving like that and you’ve got guys that can make plays.”

The Drake defense seemed to have no answer all night for Christopherson, similar to last season’s 90-70 ISU victory when now-departed guard Lucca Staiger hit 10 threes en route to a 32-point performance.

“He just did a terrific job. We were very aware [of him], and he still made shots,” said Drake coach Mark Phelps.

Christopherson and the rest of the Cyclones are shooting almost at will in coach Fred Hoiberg’s wide-open, fast-paced offense. Iowa State attempted 25 from beyond the 3-point line Wednesday night, converting on nine.

But it wasn’t just the three that Christopherson was hitting.

Early in the first half, he got going on mid-range jumpers and lay-ins, taking the ball and attacking the rim, setting him up for a 19-point opening period.

The LaCrosse, Wis., native also added four rebounds and three assists.

“When you have a reputation as a shooter, people try to run you off your shot, so that’s something you need to be able to do; otherwise you’re going to be a lot more limited offensively,” Christopherson said. “I take a lot of pride in trying to be a well-rounded offensive player and a well-rounded player, period.”

Christopherson’s shooting touch didn’t quite translate to the rest of the squad, but the Cyclones did hit 53.8 percent of their shots Wednesday night, hitting 35-of-65.

“He was just on fire. I was hoping I could touch him and just get a little bit of that,” said freshman forward Melvin Ejim, who shot 7-of-8 from the floor and scored 14 points.

Hoiberg has praised Christopherson’s work ethic since before the season began, saying that he was always in the gym throughout the summer, working on becoming a more well-rounded player.

“Scottie is a workaholic. He’s always in the gym … always down there taking shots,” Hoiberg said. “Not only spot up shots, he’s working off of the dribble, working on his pull-up game.

“He’s a guy that puts in the effort, there’s no doubt about that. He’s put in the work, he’s got a great stroke, and there’s a reason he was 11-for-11 tonight.”