AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State looked nothing like the team that blasted rival Iowa on the road 48 hours earlier.
But the Cyclones won anyway – and soon they’ll have star transfer Jameel McKay at their disposal.
Georges Niang and Bryce Dejean-Jones each scored 18 points and 14th-ranked Iowa State held off Southern 88-78 on Sunday night for its fifth straight victory.
Monte Morris had 15 points and five assists for Iowa State (8-1). The Cyclones led by 27 before a late Southern run.
Iowa State shook off a sluggish start with an 18-0 run late in the first half and early in the second. The Cyclones went ahead 53-35 on Naz Long’s layup with 16:13 left and hung on for their 26th straight nonconference home victory – even though the intensity of Friday’s win over the Hawkeyes left them a bit drained.
”We’re going to have to do a better job of urgency coming out of the gates and establishing ourselves,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Tre Lynch scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead Southern (2-8). Iowa State outscored the Jaguars 41-8 during one stretch.
Dejean-Jones missed Friday night’s 90-75 blowout against the Hawkeyes. He was suspended for one game by coach Fred Hoiberg after being arrested early Thursday on three charges, including a marijuana charge that was quickly dismissed and a pair of noise violations that remain pending.
”I want to apologize to my teammates, the coaching staff, the university and my neighbors, also the police for violating the noise ordinance multiple times,” Dejean-Jones said. ”I got multiple warnings and I just wasn’t getting it. I learned my lesson.”
Iowa State’s issues began before the game even started.
The Cyclones were given a technical foul for dunking in warmups and fell behind 2-0 before the opening tip. The Jaguars pushed their lead to as much as 29-21 midway through the first half, and Adrian Rodgers had 15 points in just under 12 minutes.
The Cyclones finally tied it at 31 on an alley-oop dunk from Niang to Dejean-Jones. Niang’s free throws gave Iowa State its first lead, 35-33, with 3:15 left before halftime.
Long had 13 points for the Cyclones, who held Rodgers to just two points in the second half.
”You knew there was going to be a little bit of a letdown. And then to have the technical certainly didn’t help,” Hoiberg said.
Iowa State: The Cyclones, who entered play averaging 10.5 3s per game, missed their first seven from beyond the arc. Niang broke the cold stretch late in the first half, and then had a dunk that put Iowa State up 40-35
Southern: Rodgers had 18 points in Southern’s last game, an 85-57 loss at Minnesota. The Jaguars actually had more baskets than Iowa State, 29-28.
Southern hosts Champion Baptist on Tuesday.
Iowa State plays Drake in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 20.
McKay, a 6-foot-9 center, left Marquette in 2013 without ever playing a game and was forced by NCAA rules to sit out last season and the first semester of this season. McKay is expected to jump into the Cyclones starting lineup beginning with Saturday’s game against Drake and anchor their interior defense. Coach Fred Hoiberg has said more than once that McKay, a two-time NJCAA All-American at Indian Hills Community College (Marshalltown, Iowa), will be the shot blocker he’s never had in five years at Iowa State. ”I think we need to be a little patient with him because he’s been out for a year and a half. But he’s one of those kids that will impact the game with his energy,” Hoiberg said.
Iowa State was just 3 of 17 from 3-point range. But the Cyclones hit 29 of their 33 free throws and outrebounded the Jaguars 37-28.
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