Wow. What a game we had this afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena! This is what college basketball is all about! The walk up ticket sales were pretty good for this, as the place was more filled than I had expected. I was thinking about 8,000 would be there, and it was just a hair over 10,000. Really a deserving atmosphere for how great this game was!
Iowa State overcame a 12 point deficit with 18:00 left in the second half to win on a 30 foot Jamie Vanderbeken buzzer-beater with 1.7 seconds left! Iowa State inbounded from the opposing basket, Christopherson threw a great pass to Jamie, Jamie made two dribbles, turned, and made it! The place erupted, and nearly 2 hours later, my ears are still ringing! Of course afterwards, the place erupted into "Freddie! Freddie!" chants.
I think most of us knew would it would be a tight game if both sides played to their abilities. Creighton made a lot of 3s to build up their lead, but went colder from beyond the arc late in the second half, while Iowa State heated up beyond the arc to get back in it. Creighton went 14-27 from 3, while Iowa State went 13 for 26. In order to overcome great three point shooting, you need to do a little three point shooting yourself! Iowa State put themselves in position to win by better overall shooting, and better rebounding. Creighton was a very physical team, especially compared to Drake, so this was a good test for Iowa State.
A big key to this win for Iowa State, however, was some crucial force turnovers down the stretch, and Jamie Vanderbeken posting up against Doug McDermott in the second half. Jamie was able to use his size to back down McDermott and make some easy buckets to get Iowa State back in the mix. McDermott put in some good work on the offensive side, and he's going to be a good player. If he's going to play the 4, he's going to need to work on his post defense. The rest of his game is very nice, and he's going to be a force in the MVC in future years.
Both sides played well, so it was fitting it came down to kind of a crazy play. Actually, ISU had chances to make the game safe had they done better than going 10 for 18 at the free throw line. Creighton really made Iowa State pay for not making more foul shots. It really could have gone either way, and it was a game that probably gave both coaching staffs some extra gray hairs!
As far as individuals for Iowa State, a lot of guys stepped up. Diante and Jake both hit key 3 pointers down the stretch. Jake also lead the way in rebounding, collecting 15 boards. Remember, this guy is basically like a 2nd point guard out there. Ejim dropped 22 points after coming off the bench (due to being late for shoot around), and of course Jamie made some good post shots, had some key blocks, and just stepped up big to make the game winner. We didn't play a lot of guys, but the guys who were out there did a nice job.
What a great game, and I feel really fortunate I got to experience an exciting game like this one! It felt a lot like that Virginia game in 2004 where Hilton was crazy, and I think Stinson made a buzzer beater to win a very close game against a team that could have just as well won as well.
Iowa State now moves onto Kennesaw State on Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. If you're in the area, you ought to make the trip. This team is fun to watch!