Christopherson shoots ISU to Cy-Hawk victory

With his team trailing 40-31 at halftime to in-state rival Iowa, Iowa State junior Scott Christopherson found a hot streak that allowed the Cyclones to do something they have not done since 2002.

Christopherson scored 24 of his career-high 30 points after halftime as Iowa State defeated Iowa in Iowa City 75-72 Friday in front of a crowd of 13,276 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

It was the Cyclones (8-2) first win at the home of the Hawkeyes (5-5) in eight years and the first win in the rivalry by a road team since 2003. Freshman Melvin Ejim helped out Christopherson with 15 points and seniors Jake Anderson and Diante Garrett both scored 10 points and dished out six assists.

Christopherson said he just trying to step up with confidence and knock down shots to help his team out.

"You really don't think about how you are shooting because you are so focused on the game," Christopherson said. "Fortunately, my teammates were able to find me and I was able to knock some down."

Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg won in his debut as head coach in a rivalry that he went 3-1 in as a player in from 1991-1994. Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey also was making his debut in the rivalry.

"The atmosphere was electric tonight; it was a lot of fun to play in this game and it was a lot of fun out there tonight," Hoiberg said. "My pacemaker was working overtime in those last few minutes."

One of the toughest parts of the game for Hoiberg and the Cyclones came after they had built a ten-point lead with just less than four minutes to go in the game. Iowa went on a 10-2 run over the next two minutes cut the lead to two.

Christopherson again stepped up after Anderson broke the Iowa press and found him in the corner for a three-point dagger to ice the game.

"They had to help off me or give Jake a layup and they helped," Christopherson said. "Those are the kind of shots that you dream of."

Hoiberg said this win has the possibility of being a springboard win that gives his young, inexperienced team some confidence when it goes away from the friendly confines of Hilton Coliseum.

"We needed to come out and win in a hostile environment," Hoiberg said. "This is one of the games where your team really grows."

After the two teams traded runs early on, the game was tight for the majority of the first half before the Hawkeyes finished the half on an 8-1 run to take a nine-point lead into half.

"I didn't like the way the first half ended and really got on our guys and challenged them; to their credit, they responded," Hoiberg said. "We try to set the tempo and play fast, but we played a little too fast in the first half, taking some out of character shots and over-penetrating."

That response came early and often in the second half as Iowa State opened the stanza with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to one after Christopherson's first of five second-half treys.

Iowa still led 50-49 with 12 minutes remaining before the Cyclones went on a decisive 12-2 run over the next three minutes. Christopherson knocked down two three-pointers during that run and nearly had a third but his foot was on the arc, so he had to settle for a long two-point shot.

"He is playing on a whole different level right now," Hoiberg said.

After losing several close games on the road last season and losing a tight one at Northern Iowa this season, Iowa State was able to finish the deal late in this one with Christopherson's shooting and a steal and layup by Garrett in scramble situation late in the game.

"We knew we were going to hit some adversity and that we had to learn from it," Garrett said. "It was great to steal a road win; everybody came together as a family tonight."


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