AMES —Same league, similar alley oop-filled result.
The Iowa State men’s basketball team concluded its SWAC-based segment of the early season Monday, trouncing outmanned Alabama A&M 98-40 before 12,615 fans at Hilton Coliseum.
And — spoiler alert! — fan favorite reserves Tyler Ellerman, Aaron Law and Kerwin Okoro each scored their first college points as the Cyclones (2-0) swept to their sixth-largest rout in school history.
“Oh man, the crowd just erupted,” ISU guard Tyrus McGee said of Ellerman’s swish with about a minute left.
So did ISU, which shot a sizzling 77 percent from the field in the second half and 61.5 percent overall.
The beleaguered Bulldogs, meanwhile, shot 26.9 percent — the lowest success rate for an opposing team since Drake managed 22.4 percent in a 48-point loss two years ago.
“That definitely was huge,” said backup forward Georges Niang, who scored 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. “We had 11 steals and I just felt our defensive pressure definitely picked up. We knew they were going to pressure us, but I don’t think they were ready for us to start pressuring them. They started making bad decisions and I felt like our defense turned our offense on.”
Three nights removed from an uneven 90-57 win over Southern, the Cyclones wouldn’t allow suspense to linger beyond the opening minutes against the Bulldogs (1-1).
And that’s only because ISU didn’t score until high-energy guard Tyrus McGee swished a 3-pointer with 17:21 left in the first half.
Forward Will Clyburn ignited a 26-5 first-half run with 13 points before the break.
He finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“Will gets it, he’s slithery and long and can get to the basket when he wants to,” Cyclone Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I do think Will was the guy that really got us going early.”
ISU led 41-14 at halftime after building a 29-9 advantage on the boards.
McGee paced five Cyclones scoring in double figures with 18 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
“Any night could be anybody’s night,” said McGee, who along with point guard Korie Lucious leads the team in steals with four. “Georges can shoot it. Korie can shoot it. Will can shoot it. I can shoot it. (Chris) Babb can shoot it. Melvin (Ejim).”
Ejim can also board it.
He notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
ISU ended up with a 46-23 edge on the glass, which ran their two-game advantage to 105-56.
“This is something we were supposed to do,” Hoiberg said. “We went out and took care of business.”
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