Wigginton, Young return in easy win over Eastern Illinois

Iowa State freshmen Tyrese Haliburton (left) and Talen Horton-Tucker talk during a break in the action against Eastern Illinois.

Aaron Marner

For the first time this season, Iowa State coach Steve Prohm had a full roster healthy when his team took the floor.

Sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton and junior forward Solomon Young played in Iowa State’s 101-53 win over Eastern Illinois on Friday. Wigginton played in Iowa State’s first game of the season but had not played since, while Young had missed Iowa State’s first 11 games.

The Cyclones didn’t need either of them against Eastern Illinois, but with Big 12 play right around the corner, Prohm said he wanted to get them back in the rotation as soon as he could.

Wigginton played 18 minutes, and Young played 10.

“I felt I played hard,” Wigginton said. “I’m still trying to get my conditioning and stuff back, but I thought I played hard and we had a team win.”

Iowa State controlled from the opening tip, taking a 9-2 lead early and never trailing. The Cyclone lead got as high as 52. Cyclone walk-on Nate Schuster played the final 2:23 and outscored two Eastern Illinois starters — Josiah Wallace (two points) and JaQualis Matlock (zero).

It turned out to be the perfect game to get Wigginton and Young back into their groove. Prohm said he isn’t worried about Wigginton’s progress back toward the starting lineup, even though Friday was Wigginton’s first career game off the bench.

“It was good to see him [Wigginton] play around 20 minutes,” Prohm said. “That was kind of the goal, 15-20 minutes today. I’m not really concerned about him starting, we need defenders and finishers.”

Young took two shots in his 10 minutes, but he added four rebounds on the defensive glass. His one made field goal was a 3-pointer.

“It was great having Lindell and Solo back,” said redshirt senior Marial Shayok, who led Iowa State with 23 points (8-of-13 shooting). “Lindell played real hard and played well, he got a lot of guys open shots. Solo was a force down low.”

All 15 Cyclones eligible to play saw the floor, and all 12 scholarship players scored at least once. While that rotation won’t continue during conference play, it gave Iowa State much-needed depth after facing injury issues all of last season and into this season.

“It was more getting guys run,” Prohm said. “The times I’ve planned [rotations], I don’t like that. I did that with our Wisconsin scrimmage, and I didn’t really like that. I like going more by feel.”

Prohm said he wanted to get Young in the game early in the second half to give him an extended run. Wigginton was the first player off the bench in the first half and played a solid stretch in the second half as well.

Ironically, the finally-healthy Cyclones will have a break until Jan. 2, when they play at Oklahoma State to start the Big 12 season. For the eight players who held down the fort in the absence of Wigginton, Young and formerly suspended Cameron Lard and Zoran Talley Jr., it’s a much-needed break.

“It’s great for us,” Shayok said. “I’m pretty sure some of [the freshmen] are a little homesick, so it’ll give us a little break.”