Iowa State battles Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday in Hilton Coliseum


Collin Maguire/ Iowa State Daily

Rasir Bolton looks to pass after attacking the basket during the Iowa State basketball game against University of Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 4.

Zane Douglas

The opponent on Sunday for the Cyclones is Purdue Fort Wayne. The Cyclones get the Mastadons as one of the last teams they play before they start conference play.

Iowa State’s last two games have been a mixed bag. The Cyclones played their best game of the season in a win over then No. 16 Seton Hall. Iowa State’s offense could have been better, but the Cyclones held Seton Hall to low percentages everywhere from the floor.

After the Seton Hall game however, Iowa State hit a snag. The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series was a disaster for Iowa State as it was run out of its own gym by the Hawkeyes and their zone defense. The Cyclones couldn’t get anything going offensively in the game with sophomore guard Tyrese Halliburton being their only source of consistency on offense.

The Mastadons are 7-7 with a few of their games coming to big schools — namely Ohio State who beat them 85-46. Purdue Fort Wayne doesn’t have a banner win yet, but on Sunday it’ll be looking to change that.

The Mastadons will have to deal with Halliburton who has performed as one of the best players in college basketball this season in his second year with the team.

Haliburton is averaging 16.8 points, 7.9 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game for Iowa State.

The sophomore was tasked with leading the team this season after the departure of five players and Haliburton has stepped into that role and performed well to start the season.

This will be an easier team for Iowa State to face than Iowa or Seton Hall and a poor shooting performance could be salvaged in a game like this, but in general, the Cyclones have needed to step up their distance shooting on the season.

Iowa State has shot 29.3 percent from three and are ranked No. 310 in the country in that area. Part of that has been thanks to the departure of Lindell Wigginton and Marial Shayok, but Haliburton has had a solid season from beyond the arc. The problem has come from the rest of the team and players that were supposed to be positives in that area.

After shooting 36.1 percent from three with Penn State last season, sophomore Rasir Bolton has shot an abysmal 22.7 percent this season on 10-44 shooting from distance.

The Cyclones will need to start figuring out an offensive strategy that doesn’t include perimeter shooting or they’ll need to start improving in that area. Either way, this is a good game to try some things against a lower level team.