November 26, 2015

Iowa State has looked comfortable in its own gym, especially behind the 3-point arc in its latest game, but it was a different story in its only game away from home.

The fourth-ranked Cyclones will try for a better performance in northwest Florida for the Emerald Coast Classic, including the opener against Virginia Tech on Friday night.

Iowa State (3-0) has been at home for its last two games and won them by a combined 62 points while shooting 54.8 percent, going 14 of 29 from long range in an 83-63 victory over Chattanooga on Monday.

Nazareth Mitrou-Long made six 3-pointers en route to a team-best 24 points. Georges Niang scored 19 points, and Jameel McKay had a career-high 17 rebounds.

"We really shot the 3 well. We hadn't done that extremely well in the first two games. But this team's offense is very capable of doing a lot of special things," coach Steve Prohm said.

Iowa State shot 44.6 percent in its season opener Nov. 13 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and went 2 for 10 from beyond the arc in a 68-62 win over Colorado.

The Cyclones will get two more neutral-site games this weekend in Niceville, Florida, and they will either face Illinois on Saturday or get a rematch with UAB. The Blazers upset third-seeded Iowa State 60-59 in the second round of last season's NCAA Tournament.

"The last time we looked ahead, UAB snubbed us. We'll just take Tech first and, we know who we want, but we'll (focus on) Tech first," Niang said.

The Hokies have won three in a row since an 85-82 loss to Alabama State in its season opener. Zach LeDay matched his career high with 26 points and had 12 rebounds in a 90-60 rout of North Carolina A&T on Tuesday.

The junior forward, averaging 20.0 points and 11.5 boards, had 26 points and 15 rebounds in the upset loss to Alabama State in his Virginia Tech debut after transferring from South Florida.

The Hokies (3-1) have lost 17 in a row to ranked teams since beating No. 15 Oklahoma State on Dec. 1, 2012.

With only two days off since last playing, coach Buzz Williams knows his team will have a tough time halting that drought.

"I think all coaches would say that they would like more time (to prepare)," Williams said. "I think when you're playing a team that's potentially good enough to beat Kansas in the Big 12 regular season and a team with the talent that they have, you always want more time. But you can't change it. We'll see where we stack up."

McKay signed with Williams' Marquette team before the 2013-14 season after playing in junior college but transferred without appearing in a game. Cyclones junior guard Deonte Burton also played for Williams in 2013-14 but is forced to sit out until next month following his transfer last season.

Williams beat Prohm in the only matchup between the coaches in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, leading Marquette to a 62-53 win over Murray State.

"His teams are known for their toughness, the way they compete with their resiliency. They play extremely hard," Prohm said.

Virginia Tech won its only other matchup against Iowa State 80-53 on Dec. 14, 1984, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

You May Like