I know this is a couple of days late. Just too much going on during the holidays to be able to get a recap up earlier. Anyhow, I was at the game on Wednesday night. I thought it was a game where Iowa State started strong, and took advantage of some incredibly sloppy play from Kennesaw State. Kennesaw had lazy quarter court bounce passes that were picked off, threw the ball out of bounds; they truly looked like a group that did not want to be in Ames, Iowa the day before Thanksgiving.
Then, about midway through the first half, Iowa State got sloppy. With a 35-17 lead with about 6 minutes left in the first half, Kennesaw State got a little more sharp, started executing their half court offense better, and Iowa State started doing silly things: behind the back bounce passes on fast breaks, settling for outside shots instead of going inside, and so on. Kennesaw State went on a 10-2 run over the next 2 and a half minutes, making it a 37-27 game. From that point, Iowa State got it together, and went on a 11-2 tun to end the half. In the second half, they built off of the 19 point lead to a 24 or 25 point lead halfway through the second half, before pulling away to win by 40.
Iowa State did just about everything better than Kennesaw State. The Cyclones shot for a higher percentage (63.3% eFG vs. 37.1%), had less turnovers, out-rebounded Kennesaw by a margin of 14, and was able to get to the line more often. Iowa State was just more physical, and forced Kennesaw to take outside shots (only going 3 of 13 from three), and Iowa State was able to create off the dribble and go inside. Iowa State also had another good game of outside shooting, going 10 of 19 from beyond the arc, and that really was the difference between a decisive victory and a straight up blowout.
As far as the team goes, I still worry about the three-ball a little bit. On the season, Iowa State is shooting 46.2% from there. DG, Anderson, Vanderbeken, and Christopherson have been taking pretty open shots from there for the most part, and have done a good job not forcing things from there too much. Having DG, Anderson, and Christopherson able to create off the dribble, helps open up that shot. At the same time, we're averaging over 21 attempts per game from there, which is about 35% of all the shots ISU is taking. I just do not know if we can sustain 46% shooting, and how the team will adjust of the three pointer is not falling. I hate those teams that live and die by the three ball, and I hope we're just taking a lot because we're making a lot.
Bottom line: I'm glad we're blowing out the teams we should, but one of these games the three pointers are not going to fall like mad, and Iowa State is going to need to have the ability to beat teams by not jacking threes like crazy.