After falling in poll, No. 5 Iowa State takes it out on poor NDSU
For a few minutes, Iowa State’s hopes for a huge season laid writhing on the Hilton Coliseum floor.
Star Georges Niang turned out to be fine.
So did the Cyclones, who shook off a sluggish start to overwhelm yet another opponent.
Abdel Nader scored 21 points, Jameel McKay had 15 to go with a career-high 19 rebounds and fifth-ranked Iowa State beat North Dakota State 84-64 on Tuesday night
Monte Morris had 18 points and six assists for the Cyclones (6-0).
They overcame shooting just 26 percent on 3s — and an injury scare from Niang that turned out to be a minor muscle spasm– to post their fifth straight win by double digits.
"The best out of tonight is, we won and Georges is healthy," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.
Iowa State’s first five games under Prohm went about as smoothly as possible.
That changed briefly in the first half.
Niang, a preseason first-team All-American, fell hard to the floor clutching his right leg. He walked off on both feet, though, with his arm wrapped around McKay’s back.
"I got sad instantly. Hilton got so quiet. I never heard it get that quiet," McKay said.
But McKay and the crowd’s fears were eased just three minutes later when Niang checked back in.
Niang then quickly spun past a defender for one of his trademark bank shots, helping kick-start a 9-0 run that put Iowa State ahead 36-30 at halftime.
Niang then sat for a bit with foul trouble, but his 3-point play gave the Cyclones a 70-56 lead with 6:26 to go.
Niang finished with 15 points.
"I just got a charley horse. I probably overreacted a little bit," Niang said. "I was just scared at first, because you bang knee to knee and I just didn’t know what was going on. I’m glad I’m good."
The Bison made things tough on the Cyclones for about 30 minutes. But Iowa State’s 13-2 run midway through the second half ensured its 30th straight non-conference win at home.
A.J. Jacobson and Paul Miller each had 17 points to lead North Dakota State (4-2).
North Dakota State: This was the Bison’s only scheduled game against a team anywhere close to the Top 25. … Miller, a sophomore, opened the season with 98 points in five games, nearly half his total from last season. … North Dakota State was picked second in the preseason Summit League poll.
Iowa State: The Cyclones fell one spot to fifth in this week’s poll. Rival Kansas moved up to fourth…New football coach Matt Campbell addressed the crowd late in the first half, saying he was "truly humbled, truly honored" to be hired by the Cyclones.
Iowa State was clinging to a 61-56 lead against the Bison, which hung around thanks largely to their ability to draw fouls and hit their free throws. But Hallice Cooke and Morris converted steals into transition layups to make it a nine-point game, and the Cyclones closed play on a 23-8 run.
North Dakota State plays at Arkansas State on Friday.
Iowa State hosts Buffalo next Monday.
- Abdel Nader
- Georges Niang
- Hallice Cooke
- Iowa State Cyclones
- Jameel McKay
- Monte Morris
- North Dakota State Bison