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Iowa State opens season with victory over Savannah State, 113-71

logo_iowa_state_cyclonesAMES – The No. 24 Iowa State men’s basketball team opened up the season in style, taking down Savannah State 113-71 in front of a sold-out Hilton Coliseum Friday night. The win, ISU’s 19th-straight in a season opener, takes the Cyclones to 1-0, while the Tigers fall to 0-1 on the year.

Preseason All-American Monté Morris led the Iowa State effort with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 11 assists. He earned his seventh career double-double without committing a turnover. Fellow senior Nazareth Mitrou-Long also got a double-double with 18 points and a career-best 10 rebounds.

While the Cyclone offense was able to get points on the board, the defense struggled to keep the visiting Tigers off the board. Head coach Steve ProhmClick here to hear it turned to his bench in search for a spark on defense and got it, with Nick Weiler-BabbClick here to hear it in particular making a strong cameo. Weilber-Babb’s driving layup gave the Cyclones a seven-point advantage at 21-14.

Both teams fired at will from 3-point range, with the Cyclones stepping up their efficiency to build the lead. Iowa State hit five 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes, with Monté Morris and Nazareth Mitrou-LongClick here to hear it posting a pair each as ISU took a 21-point lead to the locker room at 59-38.

The high-scoring, fast-paced nature of the game did present easy scoring opportunities for the Cyclones, as ISU was able to notch 74 points in the paint. Iowa State was also able to bolster its advantage in the game via second-chance points (29-to-2 in favor of ISU) and fast-break points (22-to-7 in favor of ISU). Iowa State would build up a lead of as many as 43 points in the contest.

Players of Note
The expectation was set for Monté Morris to become a go-to option more often, and he passed his first test on Friday. Morris recorded a double-double, the seventh of his career, with 21 points and 11 assists. Scoring over 20 for the 11th time in his career, Morris also committed zero turnovers on the evening.

Nazareth Mitrou-LongClick here to hear it returns to Hilton Coliseum for the first time since his 2015-16 season was cut short by hit injuries. The Canadian did not disappoint the Cyclone fans, recording his first career double-double with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting and a career-best 10 rebounds.

Matt Thomas joined his senior counterparts in double figures as well, recording 14 points on the evening while also grabbing six rebounds.

Solomon Young impressed in his collegiate debut, scoring 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting effort. Young also showed hustle on the offensive and defensive glass that will make him a fan favorite for years to come.

Cyclone Quick Hits:

*Iowa State’s sellout crowd of 14,384 marked the 49th sellout of Hilton Coliseum in the last five seasons.
*The following players made their official Iowa State debuts Friday night: Darrell BowieClick here to hear it, Merill Holden, Donovan Jackson, Jakolby LongClick here to hear it, Nick Weiler-BabbClick here to hear it, Solomon Young.
*Monté Morris had a double-double of 21 points and 11 assists, his seventh career double-double.
*Morris earned his double-double without posting a turnover, the 37th time Morris has finished a game with a bagel in the turnover category.
*Nazareth Mitrou-LongClick here to hear it had his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-best 10 rebounds.
*Matt Thomas’ 14 points, his 39th career game in double figures, included xx 3-pointers, his 26th-straight contest draining a 3-point shot.

Iowa State is back at Hilton Coliseum on Monday to take on Mount St. Mary’s. Tip will be at 7 p.m. with the game televised on Cyclones.TV Powered by Mediacom.

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