Cyclones overcome slow start, win season opener against Colorado


Point guard Monté Morris guards Colorado’s Dominique Collier in the first half of the 2015-2016 season opener on Nov. 13. No. 7 Iowa State beat Colorado 68-62 in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the Sanford Pentagon Arena.

Chris Wolff

The Steve Prohm era officially kicked off with a neutral site game as Iowa State opened up against Colorado in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The beginning of one of the most hyped seasons in ISU history began slowly, as both teams showed some rust in the first real action of the season.

Iowa State would prevail in the end, though, walking away with a 68-62 victory.

The Cyclones started 0-for-4 from the field and were head scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of the game. The Buffaloes ran out to a 5-0 lead, but the Cyclones stormed back with a 10-0 run of their own, holding Colorado scoreless for over five straight minutes.

The sloppy play was not gone for good, though, as the Cyclones lacked ball movement and had question shot selection at times. Iowa State racked up seven first half turnovers to only five first half assists. The Cyclones were also shooting just 35 percent from the field with just under three minutes left in the half.

The Cyclones ended the first half on a high note, going on a 10-0 run, pushing forward to a 30-25 lead going into the break.

Monté Morris was an aggressor for much of the first half, as he filled up the box score with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the half. Georges Niang and Naz Mitrou-Long pitched in eight points a piece. 

Iowa State responded strong out of the break, as they ran up a double-digit lead in the first few minutes courtesy of a 13-4 run. 

The Buffaloes refused to go away as they canned three straight 3-pointers and a monster dunk to cut the lead to five. 

As Colorado worked to mount a comeback, Matt Thomas converted on a hustle play where he grabbed an offensive rebound and found a quick layup, which he followed up with another drive and lay-in. 

The Cyclones lead 49-45 with 7:30 remaining, but had only converted on one of seven 3-point attempts. Naz Mitrou-Long hit a corner three with four and a half minutes remaining to push the ISU lead to 10, but the Buffaloes got a quick two immediately after, followed by a pair of free throws to cut it back the ISU lead back to six. 

Iowa State couldn’t pull away and put the game out of reach, but Colorado also couldn’t close the gap past four or five points. Every time one team scored, the other seemed to respond.

The Buffaloes cut it the deficit to four with just over a minute remaining, which Jameel McKay responded to with a lob dunk. 

With just under 30 seconds remaining, Colorado cut it to four once again. Morris missed both free throws after. The Buffaloes had a few chances on their end, but failed to convert. Abdel Nader hit a pair of free throws to put the game out of reach with 10 seconds remaining and the Cyclones went on to win 68-62.

Iowa State is 1-0 on the season and 1-0 to start the Steve Prohm era. The Cyclones will take the court next on Monday, Nov. 16 when they host Chicago State.