Iowa St. 68, Louisiana-Monroe 40
AMES, Iowa (AP)—Mike Taylor scored 15 points and Iowa State took control with a 20-0 run spanning halftime in beating Louisiana-Monroe 68-40 on Saturday night.
Wesley Johnson added 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Cyclones (2-0), but it was Iowa State’s aggressive man-to-man defense that made the difference in the second of three rounds in the Cyclone Challenge.
Louisiana-Monroe (1-1) led 17-16 after Jonas Brown’s free throw with 6:46 left in the first half, but the Warhawks went the next 10:44 without a point. Iowa State closed the half with 11 straight points, then scored the first nine of the second half to open a 36-17 lead.
Jordan Payne’s jump shot ended the Warhawks’ drought with 16:02 remaining, but they never challenged again. Louisiana-Monroe ended up shooting just 27.3 percent (15-for-55) and went 3-for-22 from 3-point range after making 13 3s in a victory over Eastern Illinois on Friday night.
Tony Hooper and Darien Bynum led the Warhawks with eight points apiece.
Iowa State’s big run got its start from an unlikely source. With the shot clock about to expire, Ross Marsden had to put up a 3-point shot, the first of the 6-foot-10 sophomore’s career, and he made it.
Taylor banked in a long jumper from out front and Corey McIntosh brought the crowd to its feet when he caught an outlet pass from Johnson, whipped the ball behind his back on his way to the basket and took it in for a layup. McIntosh’s fadeaway in the lane made it 27-17 at halftime.
The 17 points were the fewest Iowa State has allowed in a half since Arkansas-Pine Bluff managed only 15 against the Cyclones on Dec. 31, 2002.
While Iowa State had a couple of stretches of uneven play, the Cyclones were much sharper than they were 24 hours earlier in their first game under coach Greg McDermott. They committed 22 turnovers in a 69-61 victory over UC Riverside but cut that total to 12 on Saturday night and outrebounded the Warhawks 47-26.
Iowa State had two 7-0 runs in building a 16-8 lead. Louisiana-Monroe answered with nine straight points to edge in front, but Marsden made his 3-pointer 36 seconds later, and the Cyclones were on their way.
Things went so well that the Cyclones even connected on a lob pass after failing on several attempts in their two exhibition games and against UC Riverside. McIntosh lofted the ball near the basket to Johnson, who caught it and jammed it through in one motion to make it 57-32.