Iowa State finishes non-conference play against Florida A&M

Sophomore guard Rasir Bolton brings the ball up the court during Iowa State’s 70-52 victory over Northern Illinois on Nov. 12 at Hilton Coliseum.

Matt Belinson

To close out non-conference play and the 2019 portion of its season, Iowa State will welcome Florida A&M to Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday.

The 7-4 Cyclones face off against the 1-9 Florida A&M Rattlers for just the second time in program history. 

The Rattlers, like the Cyclones themselves, are in the midst of offensive struggles. 

The Rattlers are currently shooting just 39 percent from the floor as a team through 10 games, as well 26 percent from three.

Even with the Rattlers and Cyclones starting their respective seasons relatively weak on offense, head coach Steve Prohm and the rest of the Cyclones aren’t focusing on what the numbers say for both teams, rather, they are focusing just on getting a win ahead of Big 12. 

Now, after a holiday break, Prohm just wants his team to focus on grabbing its eighth win, rather than trying to solve the shooting and rebounding issues all right before conference play. 

“We wanna finish on a high note, play the right way, take care of the ball, share the ball, rebound and get a lot of good momentum heading into Fort Worth this weekend,” Prohm said. 

No matter how much the shooting has hurt Iowa State in its non-conference schedule, Prohm says there is still time for improvements to be made before Big 12 play goes too far.

Rasir Bolton, one of the Cyclones who has been inconsistent from the three point line, said even if his shots aren’t falling, only one thing matters against the Rattlers.

“A win,” Bolton said. “Getting back on the floor, laughing, smiling, making the right plays and playing together.

“I just focus on winning, if my shots don’t fall and we win, I’m still happy regardless.”

In Bolton’s last four games, he is shooting 11-34 from the floor and 2-15 from three point range.

One of Bolton’s teammates who is also finding inconsistency from the floor, Tre Jackson, feels the same way when it comes to focusing on getting wins rather than worrying about how he performs.

The freshman has seen limited bench minutes so far this season, mostly to fill in for Prohm’s small-ball lineup.

Jackson is shooting 25 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three, yet, the one goal he wants to meet against the Rattlers is adding another win before conference play begins.

“Really the ultimate goal is to win the game right now,” Jackson said.

The Cyclones and Rattlers tip-off at Hilton Coliseum Tuesday at 6 p.m.