Cyclones continue to protect home court

Jeff Stell

Hilton Coliseum was a welcome sight for the ISU men’s basketball team Tuesday after a grueling week on the road that produced a pair of overtime losses.The Cyclones blew past Colorado by an 84-68 margin to record their 30th consecutive victory at Hilton Coliseum. The home court advantage was valuable for the Cyclones after losses at Oklahoma State and Missouri.”Under the circumstances, it was great,” Cyclone head coach Larry Eustachy said. “The crowd was unbelievable, what a crowd on a weeknight. We’re very comfortable here. This was our biggest win.”The Cyclones current home court winning streak is second in the nation only to Michigan State, which sports a 39 game winning streak at home.Balanced scoring has led the Cyclones all season, including all five starters averaging in double figures, and Tuesday was no exception. Three Cyclone players scored double figures while three others scored nine points.Martin Rancik powered the Cyclone effort with 19 points and six rebounds, and Jamaal Tinsley added 16 points, nine assists and six boards. Jake Sullivan also cracked double figures with 12 points on four three-pointers.”We’ve got real good players who stay within themselves and don’t try to do too much,” Eustachy said. “They’re very unselfish and play together.”The Cyclones were finding their rhythm from behind the arc, finishing 8 for 13 in three-pointers. Sullivan hit four triples, Shane Power nailed a pair and Tinsley and Kantrail Horton put in one each.”There’s no need to teach Jake Sullivan or Horton how to shoot, and Jamaal has worked on his shooting,” Eustachy said. “We need to take this shooting on the road and get it done on the road, that’s what we have to do.”Although the Cyclones appeared sluggish at times in the first half, they used a late five-point surge at the end of the half to take a 39-32 halftime lead. Tinsley hit a jumper followed by a triple from Power right before the buzzer.Sullivan started the second half by drilling a three-pointer, allowing the Cyclones to pick up their game going on a 9-2 run. Tyray Pearson capped off the run with a dunk to grab a 14-point advantage.”We played at spurts in the first half, and I thought the second half effort was better overall,” Eustachy said.The biggest lead of the game came at 80-61 on a thunderous slam from Rancik. Rancik made a back door move on the baseline and Horton found him with a bounce pass to set up the slam.Pearson came off the bench to contribute nine points and six rebounds, while Power added eight points in relief duty.