"We had a tough week," ISU head coach Greg McDermott said. "We lost a couple of games in the final possession and we started today playing pretty well for the first 15 minutes. But they went on a run in the final five minutes of the first half and that really set the tone for the game."
It was a back-and-forth game throughout most of the first half with six lead changes at the 7:45 mark of the first period. Craig Brackins had the hot hand early, scoring 10 points to help ISU hold onto a 25-21 lead.
The Bears established control of the game with a 17-4 run in the latter part of the opening period. The Bears took advantage of a number of second-chance points in the rally to move ahead 38-29 with 0:43 seconds before intermission. LaRon Dendy helped ISU go into the locker room on a positive note with a put-back dunk in the final second to close the gap to 38-31 at the break.
Brackins had 12 points and Randle equaled the Cyclone star with a dozen points at intermission.
After Brackins cut the lead to 47-42 with an emphatic dunk, the Bears scored 10-straight points in just over two minutes to break open the game at 57-42 with 13:24 remaining. The Bears made it a 19-point game moments later when Patrick Christopher hit a long trey and Omondi Amoke scored on a putback to make it 64-45 with 10:23 left.
ISU made one more dent in the big Bear lead, cutting the deficit to 66-53 with 7:43 left after a Marquis Gilstrap jumper. However, Cal responded with three-consecutive hoops to make it 72-53 while squashing any hopes for a Cyclone comeback.
Brackins finished the game with 21 points, his third 20-point game of the season and his 27th of his career. Gilstrap added 17 points and 10 boards to record his third double-double of the season.
The Cyclones, who entered the game ranked in the top-five nationally in 3-point field goal percentage, hit just 3-of-17 shots from the line. ISU was outboarded, 51-32.