Cyclones draw attention to Missouri in Big 12/SEC Challenge | Sports
Iowa State‘s rigorous Big 12 schedule has taken it to an inter-conference record of 3-5 in eight games.
But now the Cyclones get a break from the strong Big 12 roster to face the Missouri Tigers (8-11, 2-5 SEC) at the Hilton Coliseum on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
This follows a hard-fought 45 minutes of basketball at Stillwater, where the Cyclones earned an overtime win over Oklahoma State. The scoring margin never exceeded four for either team and was hotly contested throughout.
It took some fighting from a team that has struggled to hold on to an attacking battle at times, and rookie Tyrese Hunter knows his team showed some much-needed resilience to win the big one. victory on the road.
“We just kept fighting, we didn’t give up,” Hunter said. “Nobody lowered their heads, nobody dwelled on the last game, we just kept striving and worrying about the next game.”
Now the Cyclones turn their attention to a Missouri team that currently sits 12th in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
The Tigers are led in almost every statistical category by junior forward Kobe Brown. Brown is averaging 13.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and just under one block per game.
Last time out, Missouri hosted the No. 1 Auburn Tigers in town and trailed throughout the game to lose by one, 55-54. Missouri has a quality win over Alabama, which was then ranked No. 15.
Missouri ranks near the bottom in just about every statistical category except for free throws. The Tigers are fifth in the SEC, shooting them a 72.5% clip. Iowa State makes 69.4% of their free throws, and that was arguably their biggest source of trouble against Oklahoma State.
In that game, they made eight of their 16 free throw attempts, or 50%. This included an 0-4 performance from Gabe Kalscheur, who had an unforgettable night in attack.
His two biggest misses at the charity strip came with a minute and 21 seconds left, with a chance to tie the game at 72. While Brockington would eventually tie the game a minute later, the misses at the goal line Free throws have been costly for Iowa State at times throughout the season.
It was the free throws that sealed it in the end for the Cyclones, as Tre Jackson knocked down the first two free throws he’d attempted all season to put the game away. Iowa State doesn’t reach the line as often as other Big 12 teams, so making their free throws when they get there could prove important.
Although Missouri isn’t having a successful season on record, veteran great George Conditt knows they can’t count the Tigers on record alone.
“It’s a big challenge,” Conditt told media on Friday. “[Missouri] is not a team that is defined by its record, so we can’t take them lightly at all… we just have to go out there and play our game, play physically and dominate defensively.”
The match kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Coliseum and can be seen on ESPNU.