MBB: Cyclones win 77-59 after sluggish first half

Michael Zogg –

After a first half of frustration for the Cyclones, the second half was punctuated by thunderous dunks by sophomore forward Craig Brackins.

Iowa State overcame a poor first half to beat Mississippi State, 77-59, on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.

With the Cyclones (4-1) trailing by one point with 16:41 left in the game, and shooting an abysmal 28.6 percent from the field, Brackins let loose the first of his three dunks of the half.

The dunk sparked six straight made shots for the Cyclones during a 14-6 run that put Iowa State up for good.

Brackins led the team with 20 points, and freshman guard Wes Eikmeier added 13, including 3 for 5 from three-point range. Those were the only two players in double digits for the Cyclones.

All 13 available players got into the game for the Cyclones, and 11 of them scored at least two points.

The Cyclones traded punches with the Delta Devils throughout the first half. Neither team was able to pull away as the largest lead was seven points for the Cyclones.

Mississippi Valley State (0-8) started the game hot, hitting five of its first six shots to take an early four point lead.

The game went back and fourth from there until Iowa State went on a 9-0 run, featuring back-to-back three-point plays by Brackins and forward Jamie Vanderbeken with about five and a half minutes left in the half.

The Delta Devils came right back, however, scoring the final seven points before the half, tying the score 28-28 on a short jumper by forward Eric Petty.

The Cyclones ended the game shooting 49.1 percent from the field to Mississippi Valley State’s  38.6. Iowa State has still not allowed an opponent to shoot above 40 percent this season.

The Cyclones will play their next game on Wednesday at UNI.