No. 9 Iowa State handles Chicago State, enters Big 12 play undefeated


Tristan Enaruna shoots a three-pointer against Iowa on Dec. 9.

Matt Belinson

No. 9 Iowa State closed out 2021 like it started — sitting with an undefeated record as momentum continues to surge.

The Cyclones welcomed Chicago State (4-7, 0-0 WAC) Tuesday night to Hilton Coliseum, just a day after T.J. Otzelberger and his team earned a top-10 ranking in the AP top-25 for the first time since Dec. 2015.

Iowa State (12-0, 0-0 Big 12) took down Chicago State 79-48, moving to 12-0 on the season — good for the second best start in school history.

The Cougars came into Tuesday’s matchup after dealing with COVID-19 issues, forcing them to reschedule their game against the Drake Bulldogs to Wednesday night. Chicago State was supposed to face the Cyclones last season, but dealt with COVID issues then and the game was canceled.

Iowa State and Chicago State were tied 4-4 at the 16:53 mark of the opening half. And then Iowa State took off.

The Cyclones went on a 16-0 scoring run over five minutes of play, led by their leading scorer, Izaiah Brockington. The senior guard was attacking early, drawing contact at the rim and shot and made the team’s first four free-throw attempts. Brockington got to his spots in the mid-range, and grabbed rebounds as well.

Brockington walked into the break with a team-high 12 points, but shot 3-10 from the field. He found his scoring after shooting 6-6 from the foul line.

Tristan Enaruna got in a groove on the offensive end in the first half, scoring 10 points after starting 4-4 from the field. Enaruna grabbed six rebounds as well.

Chicago State took advantage of the Cyclones turning the ball over down the stretch of the half, cutting into Iowa State’s lead and making it a nine-point lead to give the Cyclones something to think about before the half would end over the last three minutes.

The Cougars turned Iowa State’s nine first-half turnovers into 15 points.

No. 9 Iowa State led 34-23 at halftime.

And the turnover issues trickled over into the first five minutes of the second half, with the Cyclones shooting 3-6 from the field, along with three more turnovers. But the Cougars opened the half 1-7 from the field, allowing Iowa State to hold its double-digit lead for the rest of the evening.

Caleb Grill started to light it up from three in the second half, with the junior guard knocking down his fair share of three-pointers. He finished with 11 points in 20 minutes of action.

George Conditt saw his activity increase in the second half, with the big man from Chicago becoming a force at the free-throw line. Conditt grabbed four offensive rebounds, recorded two blocks and scored eight points. Conditt had eight combined points in his previous three games combined.

Enaruna scored a career-high 19 points to go with his 10 rebounds, giving him his first double-double of the season.

Brockington scored 18 points, shooting 5-14 from the field but went 8-8 from the line. He added 11 rebounds to his night for his sixth double-double of the season.

The Cyclones turned the ball over 16 times in the win.

No. 9 Iowa State will return to action against No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 1 in Hilton Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.