Dejean-Jones' 22 points pace No. 14 Iowa State past UMKC
Iowa State was lucky that Bryce Dejean-Jones could hardly miss for the second game in a row.
The Cyclones had to lean on their latest senior transfer on a night when the rest of the team struggled to score.
Dejean-Jones scored 22 points and No. 14 Iowa State beat Missouri-Kansas City 73-56 on Tuesday for its third straight win.
Dejean-Jones has 49 points in his last two games for the Cyclones (6-1), who've won 25 straight non-conference games at home.
"He just scored it from all over. He's shooting the ball with a lot of confidence right now. That always helps," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
The Cyclones opened on a 24-9 run, powered by 11 early points from Dejean-Jones. They led by 21 points in the first half.
Monte Morris scored 13 points with five assists for Iowa State. But no other Cyclone reach double figures, and they allowed UMKC (3-7) to get within 11 points midway through the second half before pulling away.
Frank Williams had 14 points for UMKC (3-7). The Kangaroos have lost three straight.
Iowa State next faces rival Iowa on the road in what should be its biggest test of the young season.
After a sluggish stretch sandwiching the halves and a bit of a sloppy finish, the Cyclones looked like they could use the challenge.
Iowa State was all over UMKC from its first possession. The Cyclones took their first 20-point lead, 33-13, after just 12 minutes -- and Hoiberg apparently felt so confident in his team's chances that he put in seldom-used freshman point guard Clayton Custer midway through the first half.
The Cyclones hit 13 of their first 20 shots, mirroring the hot start they used to bury Arkansas 95-77 last week.
UMKC got within 48-37 following a stagnant stretch by Iowa State. But Dejean-Jones found Naz Long for a layup off a bounce pass from behind his back, and Iowa State's lead was soon back up to 20 points.
"We just let them back into the game. It was kind of on both ends of the court. We had a couple of turnovers we shouldn't have had. Defensively, we didn't cover the people we were supposed to on a couple of those 3s that caused them to get back in the game," Dejean-Jones said.
Iowa State: Abdel Nader had his first signature moment with the Cyclones, a one-handed dunk over a defender that gave Iowa State a 26-9 lead. Nader finished with eight points and five rebounds.
UMKC: The Kangaroos opened the season with a win at Missouri and a 10-point loss at Kansas State. But they've since lost six of eight, including losses to South Dakota State, UW-Milwaukee and Youngstown State. Coach Kareem Richardson burned timeouts with just seconds left before the 16 and 12-minute marks of the first half, which is when media timeouts are called at the next whistle.
Iowa State plays at Iowa on Friday.
UMKC hosts Omaha on Saturday.
UMKC held Iowa State star Georges Niang to just 9 points on 1 of 4 shooting. Niang had seven rebounds and seven assists though, and the attention the Kangaroos paid to him helped Dejean-Jones get his fair share of clean looks. But three different Cyclones had at least three turnovers, and Iowa State only outscored UMKC 32-29 in the second half.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"I don't know what we were doing out there in the second half," Hoiberg said. "We had a stretch there where, it just wasn't us. We were coming down (the floor) and it looked like when my twins used to play soccer. Everybody kind of ran toward the ball."