No. 17 Iowa State will look to remain undefeated and continue its dominant start when it hosts Jackson State on Sunday in Ames, Iowa.
Iowa State (9-0), which went 2-22 last season, has posted seven wins by double figures and four by at least 19, including a 73-53 throttling of intra-state rival Iowa (7-3) on Thursday.
Izaiah Brockington was the star against the Hawkeyes. He made his first nine shots and finished 11-for-14 from the field en route to posting 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
“I’m not really sure what else he could do,” Iowa State first-year coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “You’re happy for a young man like that. Because when he came into this program, he talked about what he was about and what impact he wanted to bring. And he’s done all that and more.”
Tyrese Hunter, who had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists, was the only other Cyclone who finished in double figures in scoring.
Iowa State suffocated the Hawkeyes, who shot 27 percent (17-for-63) from the field, including 18.5 percent (5-for-27) from beyond the arc. Iowa entered the game as one of four schools nationally averaging at least 90 points per game.
Iowa State, which was picked by the Big 12 coaches to finish last in the league, entered Friday as one of four teams, along with Gonzaga, Duke and Purdue, to have multiple wins over ranked teams this season.
Iowa State already has racked up an impressive list of wins, including victories over then-No. 25 Xavier (82-70), then-No. 9 Memphis (78-59) and at Creighton (64-58) before destroying the Hawkeyes earlier this week.
Now, the Cyclones are a win away from equaling their best start in school history, having opened 10-0 during the 2013-2014 and 1996-1997 seasons.
“It’s definitely a good start, really,” Brockington said. “Coming into this year, (being ranked) wasn’t even a goal we discussed, (but) to finally be recognized somewhat is good. We’re definitely feeling we’re bringing basketball back to Ames. We’re bringing the magic back, but it’s just a start. We want more.”
The Cyclones are led by their big three of Brockington, who leads the team in scoring (17.4) and rebounding (7.8), while Hunter sets the pace with 5.4 assists and 2.4 steals to go along 11.6 points per game, which is third behind Gabe Kalscheur’s 11.7 points per game.
Jackson State (2-6) has won two of its past three games after opening the season with five straight losses.
The Tigers, who start the season with 12 straight road games, are coming off a 61-55 win at Illinois State on Dec. 4. Ken Evans posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Chance Moore added 13 points off the bench, while Jonas James had 11 points. Jayveous McKinnis had seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
“Despite us dealing with injuries and being on the road for our eighth straight game, I thought our kids showed a lot of heart and determination,” Jackson State coach Wayne Brent said. “Our coaches did an excellent job of preparing them and the players did a great job of being coachable and trusting the game plan.”
The Tigers are led by McKinnis, who averages a double-double with 11.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, to go along with 1.8 steals and 2.9 blocks. Moore averages 9.3 points, while Ken Evans averages a team-high 2.8 assists to go along with 6.8 points per game.
Gabe Watson, who averages a team-high 15.3 points per game, has missed the past two games due to injury and his status for Sunday is unclear.
–Field Level Media