McKay scores 23 to lead No. 4 Iowa State past Virginia Tech
NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jameel McKay had one of his best games at Iowa State in front of his former coach.
The senior forward scored 23 points, and the fourth-ranked Cyclones advanced to the Emerald Coast Classic final with a 99-77 victory over Virginia Tech on Friday night.
McKay was at Marquette during the fall semester of 2013 before transferring to Iowa State. Buzz Williams was Marquette's coach before going to Virginia Tech.
''You can define Jameel's game quickly but it is incredibly hard to stop because he is so long and athletic,'' Williams said. ''He's always going to be around the ball on both ends of the floor. He probably wanted to show me more than what I was telling our guys. He's got a bright future.''
McKay has scored 20 or more points in two of the last three games. He had a career-high 25 points against Chicago State on Nov. 16.
McKay had 15 points in the first half as Iowa State (4-0) rolled to a 52-30 lead at the break.
The Hokies closed to 27-22 on Zach LeDay's layup with 7:13 remaining, but the Cyclones responded with a 22-4 run.
McKay had seven points during the surge and Georges Niang added six.
''It all started with Jameel. He was demanding the ball down low and really making great post moves. He was making tough plays at the rim which lead to kick outs and 3s,'' said Niang, who had 12 points. ''Once we got our transition going there was really no stopping us from there.''
Iowa State, which shot 37 of 64 from the field and made 13 3-pointers, will face Illinois on Saturday. The Cyclones led by as many as 32 with 12:24 remaining.
Each of Iowa State's starters scored in double figures. Abdel Nader had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Monte Norris scored 14 and Naz Mitrou-Long had 12.
''They were really locked in and flying around. These guys have been real good,'' Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.
LeDay led the Hokies (3-2) with 19 points and eight rebounds. Justin Bibbs and Justin Robinson scored 11 apiece, and Seth Allen had 10.
Virginia Tech missed nine of its first 10 shots and was 14 of 37 from the field in the first half. It was better in the second half, going 17 of 30.
''I thought the first 15 minutes we were in rotation defensively where we were giving up uncontested shots and offensive rebounds,'' Williams said. ''I thought we were better after that.''
Iowa State shot 20 of 29 from the field in the first half. It is the second time this season it has shot 69 percent or better from the field in a half. ... The Cyclones came into the game with 13 blocks, but had nine in Friday's game. McKay and Niang had three apiece.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''I've studied Iowa State more than any other top-10 team. They are deserving of all the preseason accolades. They put stress on you as soon as they get the ball,'' Williams on Iowa State.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies have hit a 3-pointer in 403 consecutive games. The last time they did not make one in a game was Feb. 1, 2003, at Providence.
Iowa State: Prohm is the fifth coach in school history to lead the Cyclones to wins in his first four games. The others are Fred Hoiberg, Greg McDermott, Wayne Morgan and Louis Menze. ... Nader has three double-doubles in his career.
Virginia Tech: Faces UAB in Saturday's third-place game.
Iowa State: Takes on Illinois in Saturday's championship game.