No. 17 Iowa State pounds Auburn
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Dustin Hogue was supposed to be a complimentary piece for Iowa State.
It looks as if he’s ready for a bigger role.
Hogue set career highs with 22 points and 16 rebounds, and the 17th-ranked Cyclones pounded Auburn 99-70 on Monday night for their sixth straight win.
Melvin Ejim added 14 points and 10 boards for Iowa State (6-0), which is the Big 12’s last unbeaten team. It was Ejim’s 23rd career double-double.
The Cyclones grabbed control with a 27-5 run midway through the first half, and they finished with 28 assists on 33 field goals.
Hogue had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the first half as the Cyclones raced out to a 19-point lead that grew to as many as 35 in the second half.
It was by far the best outing to date for Hogue, a junior college transfer who surprisingly has emerged as one of Iowa State’s best players.
“The thing that’s impressed me about him is just his overall basketball I.Q.,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He knows when to space the floor. He knows when to cut. He’s a very good passer. He gets that thing off the board and it’s a quick outlet to get the break our going. He just does so many things.”
Chris Denson scored 27 points and KT Harrell had 19 for Auburn (4-2), which shot 35.5 percent from the field and got beat on the boards 47-36.
“They out-toughed us. That’s the bottom line,” Auburn coach Tony Barbee said.
Hogue, a 6-foot-6 junior from Yonkers, N.Y., averaged 12.9 points and 5.4 rebounds last season at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, with many of those baskets coming around the rim and in transition.
Hogue was averaging 10 points and a team-high 8.6 boards for the Cyclones thanks to an expanded offensive game, and he quickly moved past those numbers against the Tigers.
Hogue had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first 11 minutes, keying that huge Cyclones run that put them ahead 32-17 with 5:57 left in the first half.
Hogue hit 6 of 7 shots in the first 20 minutes in leading Iowa State to a 47-28 lead.
“Just me expanding on my outside shot and working harder,” Hogue said of his success. “I’ve always focused more on playing hard, and I think if I just bring more energy to every game then I’ll get more results.”
Auburn had won four of its first five games, a stretch that included a 19-point loss to Northwestern State.
But this was the first time the Tigers played a high-major opponent — and they soon realized they were taking on a different level.
Iowa State, which entered play averaging a shade over 10 3-pointers a game, missed their first eight as Auburn took an early seven-point lead. But once freshman Matt Thomas got the Cyclones going with a 3, they rolled right past the Tigers as if Auburn was a low-major program in town for a payday.
Monte Morris banked in a 3 to make it 30-17, and Auburn put up little resistance from there.
Thomas finished with 14 points, and Morris had 12 points and nine assists.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers, who had just seven assists on 22 field goals. They face Illinois, Clemson and Boston College before Christmas.
“It’s not what you do on offense. It’s what you do on defense that wins games,” Barbee said. “We let our inability to make shots and inability to make open 3-pointers affect what we did on defense.”
The Cyclones next get Northern Iowa on a neutral floor in nearby Des Moines on Saturday. They then host No. 23 Iowa on Dec. 13 in what’ll surely be the most hyped game between the instate rivals in recent memory.
If Monday’s performance was any indication, the Panthers and Hawkeyes will have to account for Hogue at all times.
“He’s a beast down there. (Monday) was a perfect example of what Dustin does,” Ejim said. “He goes hard every game, and he’s opportunistic. He gets those rebounds, he knocks down his shot. He’s attacking.”