Iowa State surges past Southeastern Louisiana, moves to 11-0


DJ Jacobi / Iowa State Daily

Caleb Grill looks around the court trying to pass to a teammate in the game against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Dec. 1 in Hilton Coliseum.

James Powell

AMES- After a week off to focus on finals and wrap up the semester, the No. 11 Cyclones returned to Hilton Coliseum to take on Southeastern Louisiana Sunday afternoon.

T.J. Otzelberger came in just two games away from completing a 12-0 non-conference schedule, something most thought to be a long-shot before the season.

Both teams sputtered out of the gate, with the score being just 7-6 in favor of the visitors about seven minutes into the game. An Aljaz Kunc three eventually helped put the Cyclones up 11-7, forcing a timeout.

Kunc has shot the ball well throughout the season, especially from deep. He’s shot 59 percent from the floor and made half of his 22 threes.

Southeastern Louisiana made just one of their first 10 threes, allowing Iowa State to hold onto a slight cushion as the first half went on.

The lead got as high as seven with about five minutes remaining, thanks to eight points off the bench from Caleb Grill. Izaiah Brockington had four points and five rebounds early as well to pace the Cyclones early on.

It was a 25-17 game going into halftime, capped off with an emphatic slam from Brockington from Grill to give Brockington six first-half points, as well as give Grill his second assist of the game.

It was Gus Okafor that led his Southeastern Louisiana squad in scoring through the first half, putting up eight points of his own on 50 percent shooting.

A quick 6-0 put Iowa State up 31-19 early in the second half. All their baskets came right at the rim, with Brockington and George Conditt finishing dunks and Tristan Enaruna with a lay-in in transition.

Grill continued to heat up, scoring 17 points including five of eight from long range. His fourth put the Cyclones up 17 halfway through the final frame, their largest lead of the contest at that point.

The lead got as high as 21 with six minutes remaining. Grill continued to lead the way, scoring a career-high 20 points through his 26 minutes of game action.

The deficit hovered around 20 for much of the second half and the final score ended up being 77-54.

Grill led all scorers with 20 points, Brockington added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Kunc poured in 13 of his own.