Chicago St.-Iowa St. Preview
Iowa State managed to get through a competitive game against a former conference foe while also playing in an unfamiliar setting in coach Steve Prohm's debut.
The seventh-ranked Cyclones will get to return to their own court Monday night and face a more low-profile opponent in Chicago State.
Iowa State trailed late in the first half and led by single digits for much of the second in a 68-62 win over Colorado on Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Prohm's emphasis on defense was apparent as the Cyclones limited the Buffaloes to 36.5 percent shooting - even with their 9-of-23 performance from 3-point range - and forced 18 turnovers.
"The first game of the year, so it ain't always going to be pretty," said Prohm, who was 104-29 in four seasons at Murray State. "Our guys were resilient. I thought we defended well for really long spurts. ... I thought we rebounded well (43-38), kept them off the glass."
Preseason All-American forward Georges Niang had a team-leading 17 points for Iowa State, which used just seven players in a season opener for the first time since 1965-66. The Cyclones were 2 of 10 from 3-point range, their fewest attempts in six seasons, but they finished at 44.6 percent overall.
"I feel like a couple of shots were forced throughout the whole team. But we can all look at each and admit that so it shouldn't be a problem," forward Jameel McKay said.
The Cyclones might get to utilize a little more of their bench against Chicago State. They're attempting to win a 28th consecutive home game versus a nonconference opponent and tie their second-longest such streak in program history.
Iowa State is 7-0 in the all-time series with the Cougars, winning 104-63 in the most recent matchup Dec. 21, 2010.
"(Iowa State) has a really good team and probably three or four guys that will be playing in the NBA next season," Chicago State coach Tracy Dildy said. "My concern is we do everything that we've got control over: not turning the ball over, making free throws and keeping guys in front of us."
The Cougars broke their single-game scoring mark in 32 seasons as a Division I team with a 137-59 victory over Division III Illinois Tech in Friday's season opener. Junior swingman Trayvon Palmer had 17 points to lead seven players in double figures.
Chicago State is facing a Top 25 team for the first time since an 87-44 loss to No. 10 Ohio State on Dec. 29, 2012, and its highest-ranked opponent since a 78-54 loss to No. 4 Louisville on Dec. 13, 2005.