ISU thumps Islanders
AMES – Iowa State junior college transfer Dustin Hogue is a self-described “hyper guy.”
The Cyclones were glad to see him putting all his energy into sparking the Cyclones.
DeAndre Kane led five players in double-figures with 15 points, Hogue added 13 points and eight rebounds and Iowa State rolled past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 80-50 on Tuesday night.
Freshman Matt Thomas also had 13 for the Cyclones (2-0), who overcame a somewhat sluggish start with an 18-2 run to start the second half.
Hogue had a lot to do with that, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second half and finishing 5 of 6 shooting with a pair of steals.
“He was all over the court. I looked at the box score to see that he only had eight rebounds. I thought he had about 20. He got his hands on so many balls and was just a monster out there,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
The Cyclones, who face its first major test of the season at home against No. 7 Michigan on Sunday, had a tough time shaking the methodical Islanders at first.
But forward Georges Niang, who added 12 points and five assists, put the Cyclones ahead by 20 with a jumper. Thomas’s layup with 14:44 left made it 50-28 Iowa State, and fellow freshman Monte Morris converted a four-point play with 8:20 left to give the Cyclones a 30-point lead.
Jeff Beverly had 14 points for the Islanders (1-1), who let Iowa State shoot 65 percent in the second half.
But a key sequence just before halftime gave the Cyclones a bigger cushion than they could have reasonably hoped for.
Morris grabbed a steal and flung it down court, where a waiting Kane laid it in and Morris then ripped another one away and tossed it to Thomas in transition.
Thomas pulled back, set his feet behind the 3-point line and calmly drilled his third such shot of the half to make it 37-24 Cyclones.
Those fast-break points proved to be crucial in breaking down the Islanders.
“We weren’t doing a good job rebounding the ball, so then they’d have a whole new shot clock. They ran their stuff really well, but with teams like that you just have to push the ball and get them out of their game,” Thomas said.
Hogue then opened the second half with an alley-oop slam to give Iowa State a 15-point lead. Hogue’s enthusiasm and athleticism gave the Cyclones a much-needed spark – and his 3 for 3 shooting from 3-point range were an added bonus.
“If I can fulfill the role of being energetic and come out and give the team defense … then I’m cool with that every night,” Hogue said.
The Islanders outrebounded Iowa State 23-20 in the first half, and John Jordan showed why he’s among the favorites for Southland Player of the Year with 11 points and six rebounds. But Texas A&M-Corpus Christi simply couldn’t keep up once the Cyclones got going.
The Islanders shot just 28.6 percent.
The Wolverines, who blasted South Carolina State 93-59, will be a much bigger challenge for the talented but inexperienced Cyclones.
“I saw they won by 40-something. It’s going to be a heck of a test. They run a lot of great stuff and they’re obviously well-coached with John Beilein,” Hoiberg said.
It doesn’t sound like Iowa State will get first-team All-Big 12 pick Melvin Ejim back in time either. Though some held out hope that Ejim might return Sunday from a hyperextended knee, Hoiberg said the chances of that weren’t “real high.”