ISU Presses Bulldogs Into Submission

<b>AMES, IA --</b> Playing with an injured Curtis Stinson and without Will Blalock and Anthony Davis, Iowa State's season-opening game against Drake was supposed to be a lot closer than it was. Instead, the Cyclones had little problem shaking off the Bulldogs, 73-46.

Iowa State used an 11-2 run in the opening 6:30 to open up an early double-digit lead, and never looked back in its season opener. Its pressure came as a surprise to a Drake team accustomed to doing the same thing to its opponents.

"We were frantic," said Cyclone senior center Jared Homan, who approached a double-double on the offensive end with 14 points and nine rebounds. "Especially in the first half, we were all over the place getting after them, trapping, moving, and rotating. That's why we were so successful. I think they were missing some shots that maybe they make on other nights."

ISU was playing without Blalock, who served a one-game suspension for playing in an unsanctioned summer league. Davis is out for another 1-3 weeks with an injured shoulder.

But Stinson, sporting a fully taped right shoulder, more than accounted for Blalock's absence, scoring 17 points and contributing 12 assists, six rebounds, and three steals.

The sophomore point guard committed just one turnover in 32 minutes of action, and did so with a tightly wrapped shoulder that he injured during practice.

"Curtis Stinson had a phenomenal night," said ISU head coach Wayne Morgan. "He wasn't at full strength and his arm was wrapped up and at various times felt some time. He's an anomaly. He's a once-in-a-lifetime player. He broke his hand and shot 9-for-9 in the second half against Georgia. He scored 29 points in the second half against Rutgers. He's a phenomenal player. Enjoy him while we have him."

Morgan's recruiting class, especially Rahshon Clark and Tasheed Carr, also got the chance to shine. Clark earned the start in Blalock's absence and scored 14 points in 28 minutes of action. Carr chipped in with 11 points and four assists in 24 minutes.

"Our freshmen did a really good job and as the year goes on they'll get even better," Morgan said. "You could see one thing, that Rahshon is a great athlete. He maintained his composure, handled the ball, made layups, made shots, and made free throws. Tasheed Carr can handle the ball and is going to get a lot better. You could also see that he's fearless, and is to be admired for that. One day he is going to be a very good guard in the Big 12."

Against a patented Drake pressure defense, the Cyclones, playing without the likes of starting point guard Blalock, had little problem slicing through it. Stinson, Carr, and Clark proved to be key in ISU's ability to break Davis' full-court press.

"I thought we would (have more success)," said Davis. "I was really shocked that Stinson could get open anytime he wanted, and their wing guys would just turn. Their guy would be six or seven inches bigger than my guy and he'd beat them down the court. You know you're in a little trouble when that's happening with regularity.

"On the other hand, Iowa State did a real nice job with their pressure. They did some things to disrupt us. They also did a real nice job with their zone."

Drake struggled to get much going on the offensive end, commitiing more turnovers (23) than made field goals (18), and shooting just 32 percent from the field. Pete Eggers was the lone Bulldog to score in double figures, scoring 11 points on just 4-of-12 shooting.

The Cyclones will now prepare for their second regular season game against Northern Colorado on Friday night at 8 p.m.


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