Cyclones tame the Wildcats, get back to winning ways


Deonte Burton looks for a driving lane against Kansas State on Jan. 16, 2016 at the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. The Cyclones won the game 76-63, snapping a two-game losing streak.

Chris Wolff

MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Cyclones can breathe a big sigh of relief after getting back on the winning track Saturday and easing some concerns that arose from a rough start in conference play.

No. 17 Iowa State (13-4, 2-3 Big 12) tamed the Kansas State Wildcats (11-6, 1-4 Big 12) and took home a 76-63 victory, providing a much needed win after starting Big 12 play with a 1-3 record.

Abdel Nader was the hot hand early on, scoring seven of ISU’s first nine points, but quickly found himself on the bench with foul trouble. Despite playing only six first-half minutes, Nader led the team in scoring at the half with seven points.

With Nader out, Jordan Ashton got an extended run for the Cyclones. Ashton, who hasn’t been a regular rotation player for Iowa State this season, was expected to take on a rotation role today due to the one game suspension of Hallice Cooke, who was suspended for a violation of team rules.

Ashton scored five points on 2-of-4 shooting in the half, but more importantly applied solid pressure on top of ISU’s 2-3 zone alongside Monté Morris. The zone proved to be effective, as it helped the Cyclones hold Kansas State scoreless for a seven-minute stretch.

Iowa State used a 15-0 run during that time period to blow the game open and sprint out to a 26-9 lead. Kansas State made a small run toward the end of the half and went into the break down 32-23.

The ISU defense was much improved, allowing only 23 first-half points, and holding Kansas State to 31 percent shooting from the field, after allowing 49 first-half points against Texas.

Kansas State would cut the deficit to five points with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second half, but ISU responded with a 7-0 run after a Steve Prohm timeout to extend the lead once again.

Kansas State would stick around, but struggled to close the gap to anything less than five points. Iowa State lead by 11 with one minute remaining and was able to hold off all of Kansas State’s late-game pressure. 

Next up, Iowa State will get a Big Monday showdown at Hilton Coliseum with Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners.