I was not able to watch the game at all last night. Instead, I decided to drive up to Minneapolis this weekend to attend my sister's commencement ceremony, and to get there before the storm hit... Except that when I hit the Minnesota border at around 9pm last night, I ran into the storm which included freezing rain, snow, blowing snow, and doubts in my mind that I would make it up safely. Somehow, someway, I made it up without getting stuck in a ditch or stranded. It was honestly one of the most scary situations I've been in my entire life.
That said, I did listen to the game, and what was funny was the fact that I got to listen to the Cyclone pxp for the first half, but could only get reception for a Hawk station, so I got their pxp for the second half. I go to so many games and watch so many games on TV that I typically do not listen on the radio. But I must say, I think I understand where all of the bitchiness about the refs come from. Both sides complain about calls time after time out there. At first, it's like "ok they missed the call", but the more I hear it, the more it turns into more like sour grapes.
It only makes sense now why so many fans complain about officiating. Their home pxp guy is bitching for 2 hours about it, and it just makes for an easy scape goat if the team loses. Missed calls happen; it is part of any game. The pxp guys have little tv monitors to look at and get to see the replays, the refs do not.
Either way, as far as the game goes, no matter how good or bad the opponent you are playing is, getting road wins is very nice to see, especially from a team with the mold of the Cyclones. The Cyclones did something that hasn't been done since Larry Eustachy was the coach. It was a nice suprise, and I am happy for that team. Winning on the road early just builds up that confidence for when they have to travel to Virginia in a couple of weeks, and when they start having to play Big 12 road games. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Colorado have not won on the road yet this year, and they've all played at least one winnable road game. Oklahoma State won one road game, but it took 2OTs and it was against La Salle. Bottom line, whether Iowa is down or not, it's good to get a road win like that.
As far as the game went, the difference was really free throw shooting. Iowa State shot slightly better, but Iowa shot better from beyond the arc than they had coming into the game (47% vs. 30% on the year coming into the game). As expected, Iowa killed us on the boards at times during the game as well (out rebounded us 47 to 39). But from Iowa State's perspective when you send the other team to the charity stripe 23 times and that team only hits 12, you are very fortunate... especially when the margin of victory was 3 points. An average team would have hit 16-18 of them, which would have been a huge difference in this one.
Individually, Scott Christopherson really carried the team, playing all 40 minutes, committing 0 fouls, scoring a career high 30 points on 10 of 17 shooting (7 of 12 from three). Ejim played his part as well, scoring 15 points on 66% shooting and grabbing 7 boards.
Running through my keys to the game from the preview:
1. Three Point Shooting -> We shot 40% from beyond the arc, which I qualify as good.
2. Taking Care Of The Ball -> Iowa State had 10 turnovers vs. Iowa's 18, so we did good there
3. Staying Out of Foul Trouble -> Vanderbeken fouled out after 24 minutes of play, and Godfrey racked up 3 in 14 minutes, so I'd say we didn't do very well there
4. Ejim Needing To Score -> Ejim put up 15 points on 66% shooting, so he did he part
5. Play With Confidence -> Iowa State got to a 12-4 lead in the first 5 minutes of the game. In the second half, they went from a 9 game deficit at halftime to building up a 10 point lead in the second half, before Iowa came back to make it a game. Either way, I couldn't see the game, but it sounded like the the Cyclones had a lot of poise, and weren't really phased.
So with the keys, I think the Cyclones did 4 or the 5 well, and was a big reason why they won the game. I'm really happy to see the team beat the Hawks on the road, and hope they can play well on the road against Virginia in a couple of weeks.
Up next for the Cyclones is Texas Southern on Sunday night. I won't be able to attend that game, and I just hope I can make it back to Iowa on Sunday night.