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Archive for Tuesday, February 6, 1996

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February 6, 1996

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Iowa State's basketball team has won five consecutive Big Eight games for the first time since the 1978-79 season.

The Cyclones, ranked 21st in the latest AP poll, last won six straight league games in 1962-63.

This week, ISU travels to Kansas on Wednesday night for a 7:05 p.m. tip, then plays host to Nebraska Saturday.

"We wouldn't of dreamed we'd have this kind of record," second-year ISU coach Tim Floyd said.

The Cyclones, who lost Fred Hoiberg, Julius Michalik and Loren Meyer off last season's 23-11 team, are 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the league.

"We are very encouraged. We had a huge turnover in personnel. Fortunately our players have grown together and like each other," Floyd said.

The Cyclones, the first ranked team to face KU since UCLA on Dec. 2, are led by 6-3 junior Dedric Willoughby, a transfer from New Orleans, who averages 20.2 points and 4.2 boards.

Kenny Pratt, a 6-4 transfer from the College of Eastern Utah, averages 14 points and 5.9 boards. And center Kelvin Cato, a 6-11 transfer from South Alabama, contributes 9.6 points and 8.9 boards.

"We've had complete involvement from Day One," Floyd said. "We started with preseason conditioning every day at 6 a.m. and they were together every night until 10. They've been receptive to criticism. It's all about improving. We've had two bad practices since Oct. 15."

Looking back: Kansas State coach Tom Asbury reflected on Sunday's 72-62 loss to KU:

"We played very hard, defended well but didn't rebound well enough to compete with them," Asbury said Monday. "I think they picked up their defense in the second half. It boils down to depth and talent and they wear you down."

Big Eight stat update: ISU's Willoughby ranks third in the Big Eight in scoring behind Ryan Minor and Chauncey Billups. KU's leading scorer, Raef LaFrentz, ranks 14th overall at 13.8 points a game. ... LaFrentz is third in rebounding (8.5) and field goal percentage (.548). ... Jacque Vaughn leads the league in assists (6.3 per game) and Scot Pollard in blocks (51). ... ISU ranks last in points per game (67.9) while KU is first (84.1). ISU ranks first in fewest points allowed (61.6). KU ranks third (66.0).

Gary Bedore

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