Late Drake Run Dooms Cyclones

The ISU men's basketball team led Drake 60-50 with 7:58 to go in the game Tuesday after a layup from Craig Brackins.Unfortunately for the Cyclones (6-2), it was all downhill from there. The Bulldogs (7-2) went on a 16-3 run from that point forward as Iowa State missed 10 of 11 shots and snuck out of Hilton Coliseum with a 66-63 win.

"We had some breakdowns but we executed our offense well," sophomore guard Diante Garrett said. "We just didn't knock down our open shots."

Coach Greg McDermott said his team still had a chance to win the game with its defense, despite the offense going south down the stretch.

"We have to learn that, when we have a team in that position, it's defense and rebounding that is important," McDermott said. "Up to that point, our defense was easily good enough to win the game but they scored on seven of their last nine possessions."

After the Brackins basket, Drake was able to promptly cut the lead to four with consecutive conventional three-point plays from Adam Templeton and Brent Heemskerk. The two teams traded hoops, and after a miss from Lucca Staiger, who had been on fire before that, Jonathan Cox hit a big three to cut it to one.

"We started playing better defense," Cox said. "We just played better together and that was the difference in the end."

On the next Cyclone possession, Jamie Vanderbeken missed the front end of a one-and-one but Iowa State was able to force a Drake miss. It did not, however, get the rebound and Craig Stanley hit a three to give Drake its first lead of the game. Iowa State had one more good possession after that, but Petersen missed two good looks from three.

"They outhustled us," Garrett said. "We just got caught standing around looking at the ball."

Early on, it looked like the Cyclones may run away with the game. With the game tied at six, Iowa State went on a 16-3 run of its own to take a 22-9 lead. Staiger hit three of his treys during that run, as he hit his first five shots from beyond the arc and seven of eight in the first half.

"At that time that was a great feeling," Staiger said. "But we lost and it just right now, so that doesn't do any good."

McDermott said that, after the run to go ahead 13, four missed layups kept Iowa State from putting some real distance between it and Drake.

"We're a bunch of nice guys," McDermott said. "That's good in almost every part of life except when you need to put someone away with that killer instinct on the basketball floor.

Drake was able to cut the lead to four at the half, though, thanks to solid free-throw shooting, where they outscored Iowa State 18-4.

Drake coach Mark Phelps said there was a bit of a shock factor early in the game.

"Lucca Staiger was just unconscious," Phelps said. "As three after three dropped on the defensive end, we started to press. As the game went on, we settled down."

A Wes Eikmeier three gave Iowa State a 12-point lead in the second half before back-to-back threes from Josh Young and Cox cut the lead in half. Vanderbeken and Brackins scored to run the lead to 10 but the Cyclones went stone cold after that.

Iowa State hit 13 threes in the game with eight of those coming from Staiger, who had a career-high 24 points. Petersen and Brackins were also in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Drake had four players in double figures led by Young with 19.

Iowa State hits the road to face their Cy-Hawk rival Iowa in Iowa City on Friday at 7 pm. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.


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