Takeaways: Terrence Lewis and Solomon Young lead the charge in a futile comeback

Solomon Young rejects a jumper during the Iowa State basketball game against UMKC on Dec. 4.

Zane Douglas

The second half of Saturday’s game saw Iowa State nearly comeback from a 55-37 deficit to No. 16 Auburn.

The final score was just a four point margin with the Tigers barely holding on by a score of 80-76, thanks in part to a second half run with a complete momentum shift in what had been an otherwise forgettable afternoon for Coach Steve Prohm’s group.

Lewis and Young lead charge

As everyone likely suspected, juniors Terrence Lewis and Solomon Young were the main benefactors of the huge second half run. The two made up for a ton of the run and it showed in their plus/minus statistic as Lewis and Young earned a +14 and a +8, respectively.

The production came in the form of second chance points. Lewis and Young each had four offensive rebounds in the game and turned those into points for a Cyclone team that was struggling mightily to put the ball in the hoop.

Many of the rebounds came at crucial times down the stretch when the Cyclones were in danger of falling behind more or they needed to keep their foot on the gas.

Lewis was effective due to his size and length as a wing — a player type that doesn’t always fit in Prohm’s system — and Young has burst through with more effective play for two games straight now.

Lewis missed a wide open three with 10 seconds left and the Cyclones down by four, but Iowa State wouldn’t have been close without his production in the first place. He finished with 12 points on 4-7 shooting and 4-6 from the line with five rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes off the bench.

Young finished with 10 points on 3-8 shooting, 4-5 from the free-throw line and nine rebounds in 24 minutes.

Foul trouble hurts Cyclones

The leading scorer for the Cyclones was sophomore guard Rasir Bolton. Bolton put up 23 points on 6-19 shooting, 2-7 from three and 9-10 from the line. He added four rebounds, but he also added four personal fouls.

The Penn State transfer has come alive as one of Iowa State’s main two scoring options over the past few weeks, with this game being no different.

When Bolton was working, it was hard to stop him, but on the defensive end, the personal fouls took away much of his effectiveness. He was relegated to bench minutes that he probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Bolton only played 31 minutes compared to the 40 that he played against Oklahoma State. In that time, the Cyclones were a -1 with him on the floor.

Grill can’t find his stroke

Sitting out with a broken nose, Tre Jackson couldn’t play on Saturday, which gave an opportunity for extra minutes to his freshman cohort Caleb Grill.

Grill earned 13 minutes and played effectively in that time, piling up two rebounds and three assists and he found openings by spreading the floor in the corner.

Despite finding the openings, Grill did not take advantage.

Three wide open three-point chances clanged out for Grill — two from the corners and one from the top of the key — and the freshman’s already abysmal shooting percentage from distance plummeted even further down to 17.2 percent.

This is a far cry from the start of the season when the Cyclones could rely solely on him to add three-point shooting while the rest of the team couldn’t seem to find its shot.

Jackson is expected to play Wednesday which could dispel any more playing time for Grill.