Cyclones Rising, On the Court And In the Rankings
By Rob Gray, Correspondent
AMES, Iowa — Another big win preceded another jump in the AP top 25 for the Iowa State men’s basketball team.
Beating BYU 90-88 on the road last week propelled the Cyclones from No. 21 to No. 17 entering Monday’s far less hyped home game with Missouri-Kansas City.
So how did ISU follow-up that adversity-filled performance in Provo against the visiting Kangaroos?
By utterly dismantling them.
The Cyclones (5-0) erupted with a stunning 27-0 first-half run, eventually leaping past UMKC 110-51 before a lively crowd of 12,960 at Hilton Coliseum.
“We just came out with a lot of energy,” said ISU shooting guard Matt Thomas, who like all the starters enjoyed a lot of bench time after scoring 14 points in 19 minutes. “We wanted to take care of business from the start and try to put them away early. Obviously, that run helped.”
The Kangaroos (1-4) went seven in a half minutes in the first half without scoring a point.
Meanwhile, ISU’s string of 27 consecutive points included seven from DeAndre Kane and six from Monte Morris, who finished with a game-high seven assists.
Kane notched 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the first half alone.
By the time the senior transfer from Marshall took his seat on the bench for good with 13:33 left, he’d racked up 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“This whole week of practice we came focused,” said Kane, who’s averaging 16.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists. “We started out good and it carried over through the whole game.”
The whole roster, too.
Every single Cyclone made at least one field goal — including fan favorite Tyler Ellerman, who totaled five points and six rebounds in the final six minutes.
“It’s great,” ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said of the comprehensive production. “The great thing about it is when you’ve got those guys over on the bench that are getting the majority of the minutes cheering as hard as they were for those guys that don’t get a lot of opportunity out there. Tyler, they were jumping up and down when he scored that first jump shot. That’s fun to see. You’ve got good chemistry and guys like each other when you see that type of thing happen.”
The Cyclones hadn’t scored this many points in a game since putting up 112 on Dec. 29, 1998 against Southern-New Orleans.
They’ve attained their highest ranking since the 2000-01 season — and face Auburn at 6 p.m. Monday.
“The great teams do it every night,” Hoiberg said. “You can’t have off days, and that includes practice.”
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