Cunningham leads Cowboys past Iowa State


Javan Johnson shoots a 3-pointer against Kansas on Feb. 13 in Hilton Coliseum. (Photo courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics)

Matt Belinson

Iowa State and Oklahoma State played each other under unusual circumstances the first time around on Jan. 25, with both teams reeling from COVID-19 protocols within their respective rosters.

So with COVID-19 roster shortages not playing a part in Tuesday’s 3 p.m. matinee in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the two teams battled with some of their biggest contributors back on the floor.

Iowa State fell to Oklahoma State 76-58 Tuesday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, pushing the Cyclones further down the Big 12 standings to 0-12 in Big 12 play.

As expected, players on both teams who were missing from January’s matchup made their presence felt throughout.

Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham was one of the bigger names missing from January who came out ready to play.

The projected number-one overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft put more impressive film on scouts’ radar on Tuesday right out of the gate. Cunningham scored 15 points on 6-8 shooting from the field, 3-4 from 3-point range, along with four assists and four rebounds in the first half.

His 15-point first half was the most the young guard has had all season. He also scored or assisted on 25 of Oklahoma State’s 42 first-half points.

Iowa State’s first 11 points of the game came from three players didn’t play the first time around against the Cowboys: Solomon Young, Javan Johnson and Jalen Coleman-Lands. Each of them had seven points at halftime respectively.

Coleman-Lands scored seven of the team’s first 11 with his mid-range game and a made 3-pointer.

Oklahoma State did well on the offensive end in the first half to walk into the break up 42-30, shooting 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from deep.

As the second half began, Iowa State stayed with Oklahoma State, eventually cutting the Cowboys’ lead to 53-46 with 11:43 left after a Rasir Bolton layup.

Despite cutting away at the lead in small stretches, Iowa State was unable to climb back into the game with a nearly five minute drought without a made field goal and dropped its 16th straight conference loss dating back to last season. 

Coleman-Lands led the Cyclones with 17 points on 5-11 shooting. The senior transfer from DePaul is averaging 19 points over his last three games for Iowa State at 47 percent shooting.

Bolton contributed 15 points of his own in the loss.

Cunningham would finish with 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

Iowa State returns to action against the ninth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday in Hilton Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on ESPN2.