Another game, another win for ISU

Jordan Gizzarelli

Martin Rancik and Jamaal Tinsley paced the Cyclones to their eighth straight win Sunday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum where Iowa State prevailed, 72-64, over a depleted Missouri team.Quin Snyder’s Tigers played without leading scorers, Kareem Rush and Clarence Gilbert, but still proved to be a formidable opponent for Larry Eustachy’s 21-3 Cyclones.”I think we got a great game [from Missouri],” Eustachy said. “People just stepped up. When’s the last time Grawer had eight threes this year? That’s what I mean, what’s the difference between number four [Rush] making them and Grawer making them?”There may have been a difference to start the game as Iowa State jumped out to an early 10-0 lead just three minutes into the game. Rancik started the game out with back-to-back baskets, followed by Tinsley and Kantrail Horton with one three-pointer apiece to build the lead.Next, it was Missouri’s turn to go on a 28-13 run of their own. That run included nine straight points from Grawer and saw the Tigers grab their first lead of the game 21-20 with 9:15 remaining in the first half. Missouri extended their lead to 28-23 with 7:05 remaining on another Grawer longball.Iowa State would see itself go on a 14-5 run to close the half and take a slim 37-33 advantage into the lockerroom. That charge was led by seven points from Tinsley and six points from Jake Sullivan.Grawer had 12 points [4-6 three-pointers] and four rebounds at halftime with guard Wesley Stokes adding 10 points to the Missouri cause. Tinsley had 10 points at intermission, and Rancik nine for the ‘Clones.After the break, Rancik seemingly took over inside and dominated the Tigers’ post players, hitting turnaround jumpers and easy layins off some incredible feeds from Tinsley. Following another Grawer three-pointer, Tinsley dribbled up the court and found Rancik for a spectacular alley-oop play that set the Hilton Coliseum crowd of 14,050 into an absolute frenzy. On Iowa State’s next possession, Tinsley again found Rancik under the basket, but this time he faked his shot and passed off to Rancik while in midair. Rancik made the basket and was fouled with 9:43 to go in the contest. He missed the free throw, but by this time Iowa State had already gained a commanding 58-45 lead.However, Missouri would not go away without one last run. Freshman guard Rickey Paulding scored six out of the Tigers’ next 13 points and brought Mizzou to within 60-56 with 4:30 showing on the clock.But as always the Cyclones were clutch down the stretch, especially Jamaal Tinsley who scored eight of Iowa State’s final 12 points. Tinsley found Rancik under the basket one last time with the shot clock winding down and just under two minutes remaining. Iowa State went up 69-61. Tinsley made 1-2 free throws with 56.8 seconds left, and Horton converted 2-2 free throws with 24.4 seconds remaining to put Iowa State up 72-61. Grawer hit his eighth and final three-pointer just before the final buzzer sounded.Grawer finished with 24 points, all coming on three-point bombs. Grawer also grabbed five rebounds in 39 minutes of action.”He (Grawer) was running through hundreds of screens,” Sullivan said. “He played a great game and now has the green light with Rush and Gilbert out.”Sunday’s win marked the team’s 33rd consecutive win at Hilton and 15th straight Big 12 win at home.Iowa State is off until next Saturday’s rematch with Kansas at Hilton Coliseum that tips off at noon.Last Monday, the Cyclones won 79-77 in Lawrence.