Binghamton no challenge for Cyclones, 86-56

The Iowa State Cyclones were not challenged in the championship game of the Tribune Challenge as they dispensed the Binghamton Bears by a margin of 86-56 Saturday night.

Forward Jackson Vroman scored 23 points and snared 14 rebounds to lead the Cyclones in a rout of the overmatched foe.

Guard Jake Sullivan logged 21 points and freshman Adam Haluska added 18 as the Cyclones won their own tournament for the seventh time in eight years.

Vroman's big night also included five blocked shots, but once again he experienced difficulties from the free throw line, making only three of 10.

But it was a great overall effort put forth by the junior college transfer who has quickly become a key cog in the Cyclone attack.

"I've been playing with my back to the basket a lot this season," Vroman said. "Tonight I tried to face up, take one hard dribble and go to the hoop. With a good shot blocker on the floor, it's important to go right at him."

The Cyclones shot a respectable 52.5% for the evening to Binghamton's 35.9%.

"I thought that we beat a real good team tonight, possibly an NCAA tournament team," Iowa State head coach Larry Eustachy said. "I'm proud of our team, we worked hard. (But) We start a tough seven game stretch. We have a long ways to go, but we have to play these games. I hope we can stay in them."

Vroman rebounded from a sub-par effort against Western Illinois in the first round of the Cyclone Challenge. He scored only five points on Friday night, but made up for it with his big outing on Saturday.

"He was disgusted in his effort last night," Eustachy said about Vroman. "When he plays above the rim, that's who he is."

Another player who improved on his Friday performance was point guard Tim Barnes. He had committed nine turnovers in the first round, but improved dramatically on that number to only one on Saturday night, coupled with nine assists.

"As the point guard, my first responsibility is to hold down the turnovers," Barnes said after the game. "I have to look for opportunities to push the ball up the floor. I also look for chances to penetrate and look for my teammates. Our coach puts a big emphasis on defense, and we got a lot better tonight."

Binghamton Head Coach Al Walker believed that the difference in the ball game might have been the Cyclones' physical play.

"We do not see defense like we saw against Iowa State in the American East Conference," Walker said. "They were big and physical. We could not manage physically against them tonight."

"It definitely was a physical game. It was a higher level of competition. We have to get everyone adjusted to the play at that level."

Binghamton guard Anthony Green echoed that sentiment. "It definitely was a physical game," Green said. "It was a higher level of competition. We have to get everyone adjusted to the play at that level."

Next up for the Cyclones is a date with Boston College on Tuesday, December 10 at Hilton Coliseum.

The Iowa State squad is anxious to see how they match up against a "name" opponent.

"I'm looking forward to playing in a big game," guard Barnes said about his upcoming date with a perennial Division I power. "It will be a good chance to see where our talent level is right now."

Iowa State-Binghamton Notes
All-Tournament Team:
Jake Sullivan, ISU (MVP); Anthony Green, Binghamton; Jackson Vroman, ISU; Zeljko Zupic, Denver; Luis Rivas, Western Illinois; Adam Haluska, ISU

• ISU has held its last two opponents to less than 20 points in the first half (17 by Binghamton, 15 by Western Illinois). Binghamton shot 23 percent from the field in the first half.
• Binghamton's 23 percent shooting in the first half is an ISU opponent low for the season.
• ISU ended the first half with a 19-4 run over the final 8:41.
Jared Homan recorded a block in his 15th consecutive game. He had four tonight, tying a career high.
• Jackson Vroman recorded his second double-double of his career with 23 points and 14 rebounds. The 23 points tie a career high, while the 14 rebounds are a new career best.
• Jake Sullivan's consecutive free throw streak ended at 23.
• ISU made seven of its first nine field goals to start the second half.
• ISU is now 15-1 all-time in the Cyclone Challenge, claiming seven of the eight tournament titles.
• ISU had 11 blocks tonight. The Cyclones had 10 or more blocks twice last season.
• ISU has outrebounded all five of its opponents this year. Tonight, the advantage was 43-34.
• Jake Sullivan had his third 20-point outing of the season (21 tonight).
• Tim Barnes tied a career high with nine assists.
• ISU had more assists (nine) than turnovers (eight) for the fourth time in five games.
• The Cyclones shot 70.8 percent (17-24) from the field in the second half.
• Sullivan's 10 free throws made and 12 attempted are season highs.
• Omar Bynum's two blocked shots tie a career high. His eight points tie a season high.
• Adam Haluska's 18 points are a career high, as are his eight field goals, 11 field goal attempts, and two three-pointers.
• Vroman's five blocked shots are a career high.
• Barnes' five rebounds are a career high.
Andrew Skoglund is now 4-of-4 from the free-throw line this season, and 8-of-8 in the last two seasons.

Iowa State's Jake Sullivan, center, goes up for a shot as Binghamton's Jeffrey St. Fort, left, and Charles Baker defend during the championship game of the Cyclone Challenge. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

Iowa State's Jackson Vroman looks for the basket as Binghamton's Jeffrey St. Fort defends during the first half in the championship game of the Cyclone Challengea. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

Binghamton's Sebastian Hermenier crashes into Iowa State's Jared Homan, right, during the first half of their championship game of the Cyclone Challengea. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

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