AMES – No. 23 Iowa State (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) overcame a slow start to defeat North Dakota (5-4, 0-0 Summit League), 63-44, Wednesday night in Hilton Coliseum.
Up two at the half, the Cyclones bounced back by making 56.5 percent of their shots in the second period after hitting just 32 percent in the first half.
Caleb Grill led the Cyclones with 16 points, including 10 after intermission. Grill remained hot after his performance at the PKI by drilling 4-of-5 shots from downtown. Tamin Lipsey tallied 11 points and a career-high four steals, while Robert Jones came off the bench to score 10 points.
ISU offset its early shooting problems by dominating the glass, 38-29, including 15 offensive boards. The Cyclones also tallied more than 10 steals (12) for the fifth time in seven games.
How It Happened
Iowa State led 26-24 at the break in a sluggish first period. The Cyclones shot just 32 percent and began the game making just 1-of-10 shots. ISU grabbed 11 offensive rebounds in the opening period, including four from Demarion Watson.
Lipsey had six points in the first half. His steal and assist to Gabe Kalscheur followed by a layup in the final two minutes helped the Cyclones go into intermission with the lead.
Iowa State opened the second half on a 15-3 run to move ahead 41-27. The lid finally came off the hoop, as the Cyclones connected on six of their first 10 shots from the field, including two by Grill.
UND closed the gap to eight points with under 10 minutes left, but Watson made his first career 3-pointer followed by Lipsey’s first-ever trey to give the Cyclones a 53-39 lead with under seven minutes remaining.
Grill’s fourth 3-pointer of the game pushed the ISU lead to 58-39 at the 5-minute mark, as the Cyclones coasted the rest of the way.
Iowa State’s freshmen- Tamin Lipsey and Demarion Watson- were outstanding. Lipsey was in double-figure scoring (11 points) for the second-straight game and posted a career-high four steals. He also had four dimes. Watson had a career-high 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Both made their first career 3-pointers in the game.
-Iowa State has won 15 straight games ranked as the No. 23 team in the country. The Cyclones have a 16-3 overall record as the No. 23 ranked team after Wednesday’s victory.
-ISU picked up its 200th victory as a ranked program against UND. Iowa State now boasts a 200-102 overall record as a ranked team.
-Aljaž Kunc set a career-high six assists against the Fighting Hawks.
-Demarion Watson recorded a career-high 10 rebounds against North Dakota.
Iowa State remains at home, playing host to St. John’s on Sunday (Dec. 4) in the Big 12/Big East Battle. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN2. To purchase tickets, click here.