Iowa St. 83, North Dakota 52

BY foxsports • December 23, 2009

Marquis Gilstrap scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Iowa State overcame a sluggish start to overwhelm struggling North Dakota 83-52 Tuesday night.

LaRon Dendy added 13 points off the bench for the Cyclones (9-3), who won their third straight game despite shooting just 54.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Iowa State was up just 41-29 on the Fighting Sioux (1-12) with 15:30 left. The Cyclones finally got untracked midway through the second half, pushing their lead to 56-33 and cruising from there.

Travis Mertens had 11 points to lead North Dakota, which lost its eighth straight game and third in a row by at least 20 points. The Fighting Sioux committed 23 turnovers and got just 10 points from the bench.

For awhile, though, the overmatched Fighting Sioux made a game of it.

The Cyclones led by double digits the entire second half, but they couldn't put the game away until a decisive run midway through the second half.

The athletic Gilstrap keyed the spurt with a 3-point play off a layup and an emphatic one-handed slam that put the Cyclones ahead by 23 with 10:44 remaining and finally erased any doubts about the outcome.

Four other players scored in double digits for the Cyclones. Craig Brackins and Diante Garrett each had 12 points, and Scott Christopherson and Chris Colvin added 10 apiece.

Iowa State was up 30-20 at the break, but the Cyclones were rather fortunate to be up that much.

The Cyclones went on an early 16-3 run and jumped ahead 18-8 on Diante Garrett's transition dunk off a turnover. At that point, it looked as though Iowa State was poised to blow right past the Fighting Sioux.

But even though North Dakota missed 15 of its first 19 shots, the Fighting Sioux stayed within striking distance by pestering the Cyclones on the other end of the floor.

The Cyclones shot just 2-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half and committed 11 turnovers - including an overhead pass by Colvin, a freshman point guard, that sailed over press row and into the lap of an unsuspecting onlooker.

The ball seemed to bounce all over the floor - and in and out of the rim - for much of the night. Things even got a bit chippy at times, as North Dakota's Chris Clausen was called for an intentional foul for slamming Dendy to the floor on a putback try with just over eight minutes left.

Dendy missed both free throws, but Christopherson promptly knocked down a 3, as the Cyclones quickly turned a game that was tighter than expected into the blowout most figured it would be.

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