CN Courtside: Where's the Magic?

Iowa State lost a heartbreaker today in Ames to Texas A&M by a score of 86 to 81 in overtime. After leading for most of the game, the Cyclones gave up two big three pointers towards the end of regulation that sent the game in to overtime. Read CN's notes taken from courtside during today's game.

 

Pre-game report:

 

  • The Hilton crowd wasn't very active prior to the tip. The students were sitting down and the balcony behind both baskets was basically empty. When the players ran out to the fight song, most of them were walking.
  • Curtis Stinson looks incredibly focused on basketball which is a good sign. Right now I'm watching a huddle of about six Cyclones with their arms around each other. It looks like the team is really coming together and getting closer both from what I've seen and heard.
  • During the starting lineups, Curtis Stinson got one of the loudest ovations that I've ever heard at Hilton. It was pretty neat to see this crowd rally behind him at this tough point in his life.

 

 

1st Half:

 

  • With 15:47 to go in the half, the Clones are trailing 12-7. Though they're down on the scoreboard, there are some positives going on. For one, Shawn Taggart just had a beautiful assist. I think that's his second of the year. Rahshon Clark started the game off nicely with another one of his "Showtime" jams. Then Stinson knocked down an early three that was nice to see. Curtis looks very poised at this point of the game.
  • I'm in the live game chat talking with CloneCougar and we have it. We finally have a nickname for Rahshon Clark. "Throwdown." Let us know what you think on the message boards. Keeper? You decide.
  • With 13:15 to go in the half, the Clones are down 19-12. Curtis Stinson is back in form. He's now hit two threes and is having quite the conversation with one of the officials.
  • With 7:58 to go, the Clones are trailing 21-18. Right now this game is reminding me of watching snow melt.
  • Jiri Hubalek has the heart of a shooting guard. He just knocked down a three with 3:50 to go in the half. Right now the Clones are actually leading by a score of 28-27. Shots are really starting to fall. At this point A&M is shooting 65% from the field while Iowa State is at 47%.

 

HALFTIME SCORE: ISU 40 A&M 32

 

Curtis Stinson is playing inspired basketball. He's got 19 points at the half and completely has control of this game. This game to me is sort of like Bret Farve's performance on Monday Night Football a few years ago after his dad passed on. Another interesting stat is that Will Blalock is scoreless at halftime. He's only attempted two shots but is doing an outstanding job of distributing the basketball. One positive stat is that Iowa State is only being out rebounded 13-10 at

halftime. That's good for this team.

2nd Half:

  • With 15:48 to go in the second half, the Cyclones are leading 47 to 41. I hate to see A&M closing in like this. The Aggies look like a different team out there then they did in the first half.
  • Anthony Davis finally entered the game with 14 minutes to go. Talk about a guy that's been completely fazed out of this team. I hate seeing that being that he's a senior.
  • With 11:30 left, it's all tied up at 52. Hilton is restless and rightfully so.
  • Right when I start ragging on Anthony Davis he steps up and hits a three with 10:40 left. Big shot by the senior!
  • Ross Marsden is going to be a special player. For being a true freshman that wasn't even expecting to play this year, he plays with incredible poise that will take him a long way in his career. With 7:15 to go in the game, Ross has eight points and they've all been big shots. The impressive thing to me is that he's 3-3 from the field so he's taking good shots. Iowa State holds a six point lead right now.
  • With 6:34 to go in the game, the Cyclones hold a 66 to 61 advantage and the guy that impresses me is Tasheed Carr. He is showing that he has the ability to help this team even if he's not knocking down threes. He's playing solid defense and he's dishing the ball nicely. I think this is by far his best game of the season and he only has five points.
  • With 4:01 on the clock, the Clones have a one point advantage and Curtis Stinson has been playing with four fouls for the past three minutes. Ross Marsden just made another huge shot for the Clones. Rahshon Clark disappeared for about five minutes to get his ankle worked on but just checked back in.
  • Iowa State just forced a shot clock violation with 3:20 left. This team has a look in their eye like they refuse to lose this game. I have a good feeling.
  • Shawn Taggart shooting a three, while up by two with two minutes left is not a good shot. I'll leave it at that.
  • Iowa State is going to overtime…that's a big shocker. The Cyclones had two chances to put A&M away at the free throw line and failed to do it both times. The game is all tied up at 73 at the end of regulation.

 

Overtime

 

  • Shawn Taggart just made the nicest pass of his career with 3:41 to go in overtime. He hit Will Blalock on a backdoor bounce pass that put the Cyclones up by a score of 77-75. We've got a nail biter here in Ames.
  • Josh Carter for A&M just buried a wide open three to tie the game with less than two minutes to play.
  • Iowa State is now down by three with 54 seconds left. The Clones have just given up two wide open threes to let A&M have the advantage. Let's see how the Cyclones finish out this game.
  • Watching Curtis Stinson foul out absolutely made me sick. That kid played way to hard to go out like that today.
  • Tasheed Carr took a timeout with 14.9 left on the clock and the proceeded to spike the ball right in front of the ref out frustration.  He's very lucky that he didn't get a technical. The Cyclones are down by four with the ball.

 

FINAL SCORE: A&M 86 ISU 81.

 

 

With the loss today, I have a feeling that a lot of Cyclone fans are asking themselves just how magical Hilton really is anymore. When looking at reason's why Iowa State lost this game, you have to look at the shooting of Will Blalock. When he has been on this year, so has Iowa State and Blalock never really got into a good rhythm today. Curtis Stinson was a warrior today, but in the end just didn't have enough to push the Cyclones to the victory. The only bright spots from the loss would have to be the play of Jiri Hubalek and Ross Marsden, but it's hard for them to get the credit they deserve after a crushing blow like the game was today. The only thing the Cyclones can do from here is get up and get ready for Missouri on Wednesday as it's starting to look a lot like last year. Every game is a must win for the Cyclones.

 

Notable Stats:

 

  • A&M had 38 bench points compared to Iowa State's 18.
  • Curtis Stinson had 27 points with five rebounds.
  • Will Blalock was 2-9 from the field and had seven points.
  • Jiri Hubalek had 16 points and was 7-10 from the field.
  • Ross Marsden had 10 points and was 4-5 from the field.
  • Texas A&M shot 58.2% from the field compared to Iowa State's 46.8.

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