Oklahoma St.-Iowa St. Preview
After a rare poor offensive showing spelled the end of its winning streak, No. 17 Iowa State understands it can’t afford a prolonged slump heading into its Big 12 opener.
Oklahoma State visits Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday night looking to build on a strong second-half defensive performance while ending the Cyclones’ 14-game run at home.
Iowa State (10-2) had averaged 86.9 points on 53.1 percent shooting during a seven-game winning streak before South Carolina’s pressure defense led to an off-night in Saturday’s 64-60 loss at Barclays Center.
The Cyclones finished with a season-low point total while shooting 35.1 percent – including 1 for 18 from 3-point range. They also went 19 for 33 from the foul line, where they’ve shot 54.5 percent over their last three games.
"I thought we were really clicking offensively in our previous games and were in a pretty good rhythm," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "It’s just seeing that type of pressure for the first time, I didn’t think we handled it real well."
Star forward Georges Niang was held to 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Since averaging 17.8 in his first nine games, he’s scored 9.0 in his last three. Bryce Dejean-Jones is averaging 5.7 points in his past three after scoring 17.3 in his previous eight.
The Cyclones have shot a combined 32.2 percent in their two defeats, but they haven’t had a field-goal percentage lower than 46.4 percent in any of their 10 victories. They’ll try to get back on track with their 57th victory in 61 home games.
Jameel McKay looks to continue his emergence after averaging 11.0 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 65.0 percent in three games since becoming eligible on Dec. 20.
"Iowa State is one of the most dangerous teams there is. (The Cyclones) just have so many weapons and obviously, Hilton Coliseum is one of the great venues to play in," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said.
Oklahoma State (11-2, 1-0) hopes to keep Iowa State scuffling after raising its defensive pressure in the second half Saturday on the way to a 61-47 victory over Kansas State in its Big 12 opener.
Trailing 29-27 at halftime, the Cowboys went on a 25-4 run that included 15 consecutive points. They also held the Wildcats to 18 points in the final 20 minutes and 37.8 percent shooting for the game.
Oklahoma State, which hasn’t opened 2-0 in the Big 12 since 2004-05, has limited the opposition to 58.3 points per game on 36.9 percent shooting while forcing an average of 15.3 turnovers.
"When our offense isn’t putting our defense at a disadvantage, our defense has been very good," Ford said. "We’ve just got to allow our offense to give our defense a chance."
Phil Forte and Le’Bryan Nash both average a team-high 17.3 points for the Cowboys. Forte led the way with 20 points Saturday, while Nash had a season-low 11 to go with six rebounds.
Nash had 26 points and 10 boards, but Niang scored 17 in Iowa State’s 98-97 triple-overtime road win Feb. 3. Niang then finished with 22 points as the Cyclones swept the series with an 85-81 home win March 8.
Naz Long hit a tying 3-pointer for force a third overtime in Stillwater and made another at the end of regulation at home.
Oklahoma State also lost 75-49 at South Carolina on Dec. 6, while both teams fell to Maryland by nine points.