AMES, IOWA — There may be no official stat, but if there was, Jameel McKay may have obliterated the Iowa State single-game dunk record Monday.
McKay’s career night in the paint helped No. 7 Iowa State to a 106-64 win against Chicago State in its home opener at Hilton Coliseum after the Cyclones shook off a sluggish first half and used McKay’s dunking to energize a nearly unblemished second in a lopsided victory.
“He was a presence all night,” coach Steve Prohm said. “He played with great energy for the 27 minutes he was out there, he didn’t play the last 10-12 minutes, but he was terrific. That’s the best I’ve seen him play just from a focus and energy level for a complete game. I thought he played a complete game tonight.”
McKay neared an unofficial triple-double in odd fashion Monday, scoring a career-high 25 points on 12-of-15 from the field, grabbing 11 rebounds to record his sixth career double-double and slamming nine dunks.
“I just try every game to be the best player in the country at playing off my teammates because I know they’re going to get me if I get open,” McKay said. “I just try to find the open spot and they did a great job today getting me the ball.”
Iowa State went to the break leading by 14, but eight turnovers and just 3-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc held it back from pulling away.
That took place in the second half.
The Cyclones began the second half on a 13-0 run helped by eight straight points out of the break from Abdel Nader, who scored 17 in the win and has scored 24 of his 31 points in two games this season in the second half.
Iowa State shot 69.7 percent from the field in the second half (23-of-33) with five 3-pointers (5-of-10) to secure the 42-point victory.
“After the course of the game I thought the last 24 minutes we really dominated the game and established our will,” Prohm said.
That was due in large part to McKay, whose presence inside Monday energized Iowa State and pushed it to its 18th consecutive home-opening victory.
“Jameel was fantastic,” said Georges Niang, who scored 11 points and dished out eight assists. “The thing about Jameel is he brings a ton of energy every game, he runs the floor better than any big man I’ve ever seen and really we just feed off his energy, he’s the key guy for us and when he gets dunks and gets us going he really anchors our defense.”