Stinson, who has been bothered by a bulged disc and turned in sub par performances in Iowa State's two exhibition games, came through Sunday with 35 points and seven assists as the Cyclones defeated NAIA team Mountain State 101-82 in the Cyclones' season opener.
"He plays even better when he's hurt," said Will Blalock, Stinson's running mate at guard, who had 13 points and 11 assists. "Maybe we should keep hurting him and keep him out there and bandage him up. He's a warrior."
Stinson said Mountain State kept leaving him open, sometimes on the perimeter.
"The guys got me the ball in the right spots," Stinson said. "Coach told us to get out and run and we'd get easy baskets."
"I was really pleased with the way we played," said Iowa State coach Wayne Morgan. "Obviously, I have to be pleased with the way Curtis Stinson played. Will Blalock was great. I thought Jiri Hubalek was tremendous for us off the bench and obviously, Shawn was himself. He's going to have a lot of good games over time."
Mountain State, the top-ranked NAIA team in the country, had its first loss after opening the season with eight consecutive wins. Rodney Epperson led five Cougars in double figures with 24 points, 17 in the second half, and Maurice Davis added 15.
Mountain State came into the game averaging more than 99 points a contest, but struggled against Iowa State's tenacious defense and had 21 turnovers.
The visitors missed their first four shots and turned the ball over on three possessions as Iowa State opened up an 11-1 advantage with the game less than 4 minutes old. The Cyclones led by as many as 17 points in the opening half, and settled for a 52-37 halftime lead behind Stinson's 20 points and 12 by Taggart.
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