Improved shooting performance helps Iowa State cruise past Purdue Fort Wayne


Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily

Tyrese Haliburton surveys the court before tipoff against Iowa on Dec. 12. Iowa State lost 84-68.

Stephen Mcdaniel

Life is about learning — which is exactly what Iowa State did after a less-than-desirable performance in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup with instate rival Iowa. Iowa State learned from its mistakes and translated it into a performance its been looking for all season against Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday.

One of the issues the Cyclones faced during their 84-68 loss to the Hawkeyes was trying to figure out the zone defense Iowa threw at them throughout the game. Purdue Fort Wayne tried a similar tactic against the Cyclones Sunday but couldn’t find the same results.

Against the Mastodons’ zone defense, Iowa State put its shooting woes behind itself and had one of its best shooting performances in a half throughout the season.

Sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton helped in opening the floodgates for the Cyclones after recording 17 first-half points, shooting 6-8 from the floor and 5-7 behind the arc.

“Guys are just shooting with confidence and having confidence in their ability,” Haliburton said. “We haven’t been shooting the ball too well this year, that’s an understatement, but guys been getting into the gym and working and shooting with confidence and we’ll be fine.”

The Cyclones shot efficiently from all around. Redshirt senior Michael Jacobson and redshirt junior Solomon Young went 4-4 from the field. Jacobson also knocked down his only three-point attempt of the first half.

Junior Terrence Lewis saw more time on the court following his solid outing in the Iowa game and did not disappoint Iowa State fans. Lewis shot 3-4 from the field and 2-3 from beyond the arc in the first half and finished the game going 4-5 and 3-4 beyond the arc for a season-high 11 points.

The improved shooting performance from Lewis earned him more time on the court.

“He’s got to continue to grow on the defensive end, execution and things like that,” said coach Steve Prohm. “But I thought it was good to get him out there, he made some shots and he responded, but now he has to get the little things cleaned up.”

Iowa State ended the first half shooting 50 percent from behind the arc and shooting 60.6 percent from the field, going 10-20 on three-point shots and going 20-33 overall.

Things cooled down for the Cyclones in the second half against the Mastodons, but they still maintained their efficient shooting percentages.

Haliburton ended the game with 22 points after making his career-high six three-pointers after going 6-10 and shooting 60 percent from three.

The efficient shooting didn’t stop at Haliburton. Young went 7-8 from the field, sophomores George Conditt and Zion Griffin went 2-3 and 3-5 from the field respectively.

“Shots were falling,” Young said about his performance. “I think I did overall well.”

As a team, the Cyclones went 35-63 from the field, shooting 55.6 percent, and went 14-30 from three, shooting 46.7 percent. Iowa State recorded scores from 11 different players.

A key part of Iowa State’s shooting success was its ability to play team ball. Out of those 35 made shots made, Iowa State recorded a total of 26 assists, highlighted by six assists from Haliburton and sophomore Rasir Bolton.

“I’m proud of our guys, I thought we did some good things today,” Prohm said. “We made shots, 14-30 from three, it’s our second game now that we’ve made shots, but we assisted on 26 out of 35 baskets and that’s how we need to play and move the ball.”