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Iowa State Loses Another Close One 76 - 73

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Another tough loss from the Cyclones this afternoon. You would like to see the team win the close ones they have at home, but some turnovers and silly fouls down the stretch made a huge difference. The Cyclones played from behind almost the entire second half after being up 39-38 at the break, after coming out a little flat. ISU was able to tie it with about 45 seconds left, but a key offensive rebound by Cal to go up by 2, along with a Diante Garrett dribble that got away from him, that resulted in Cal getting a three point play, and a 5 point lead.

From there, it was all about 3 pointers and free throws. Jake Anderson missed his second free throw with 5 seconds left, and although the Cyclones were able to get the offensive rebound, they were not able to make a put back, nor did they try to kick it out for a 3 to tie the game.

Iowa State did a lot of things well: had more points in the paint (28 to 27), less turnovers (17 to 18), more offensive rebounds (11 to 8), more points off turnovers (21 to 20), more second chance points (14 to 10), and more fastbreak points (7 to 2). But at the end of the day, Cal shot 48% from the floor, while Iowa State shot 41%, and Cal shot 83% from the free throw line while ISU shot 73%.

Scott Christopherson led the way in scoring for Iowa State with 25 points, going 7 of 13 from three point range this afternoon, including the three that tied it all up with 45 seconds left. The 7 threes are the highest for Scott. Not bad for a guy playing with a sprained ankle.

Although he did not shoot well from the field, Jake Anderson had another nice game. He scored 16 points, grabbed 9 boards (tied for highest on the Cyclones with Ejim), and got 6 steals. Even more meaningful is that he was able to draw fouls, getting to the free throw line 11 of Iowa State's 15 times. If he can do a better job finishing his drives, he'll get his field goal percentage back in the 40% range, as opposed to the upper 20s-lower 30 range he's had the past few games.

As anticipated, Vanderbeken got into early foul trouble, playing only 16 minutes total, as he picked up 2 fouls with about 13 minutes left in the first half (and sat out), and picked up a couple more quick ones in the second half. Jordan Railey did great defensivley in Vanderbeken's absence, blocking 2 shots, getting 2 steals, and slowing down Cal's Sanders-Frison. At the same time, having maybe our most consistent 3 point shooter sitting on the bench 60% of the game hurts.

Vanderbeken needs to find ways to stay out of foul trouble, without being a liability on defense. When he was in the game on offense, it brought Cal's Sanders-Frison out of paint to defend him up top, which opened up the lane for guys like Diante and Jake to drive and get open looks at the basket. Vanderbeken just adds an extra dimension to the offense, which we are not able to makeup for from the bench. He is badly needed if we are going to beat a quality team this year.

Ejim struggled against, going 1-9 from the floor and only totaling 4 points. He's been getting called for traveling when trying to play off the dribble, and these physical post guys have been making things difficult for him.

Overall, I would say Iowa State played better, mostly because it was an uptempo game. Cal likes to push the ball as well, and that works out in Iowa State's favor as well. Iowa State needs to do better at finishing at the rim. Still missing too may layups and too many high percentage shots. Like my friend was saying, your three point percentage shouldn't be higher than your overall field goal percentage. We make a couple more layins today, we come out with the W. Same could be said for the UNI game as well.

Iowa State has another home game on Monday night against Southeast Missouri State, then they head out to Iowa City to take on the Hawks on Friday. I said a week ago, this 4 game stretch was going to tell us a lot about the team. Halfway through, it has been a lot of adversity. Hopefully the in the second half, the guys can have some success at pick up a couple of wins