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Archive for Thursday, February 8, 1996

S CONFIDENCE AWAY

February 8, 1996

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Fred Hoiberg ... gone. Julius Michalik ... history. Loren Meyer ... adios. Not even Hurl Beecham is wearing an Iowa State uniform anymore.

And yet ...

"Before the game I felt we had a lot better chance than we've had in the past," said Jacy Holloway, the only returning starter from the Cyclones' graduation-decimated basketball team.

How's that again? A better chance against Kansas with all those new faces?

"Yeah, I thought we had a lot better defensive team than in the past," Holloway said. "But we weren't able to do that."

Indeed not. Kansas snapped No. 21-ranked Iowa State's five-game win streak , 89-70, on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse, and the Jayhawks did it by beating the Cyclones at their own game.

"We can't give up 49 points in one half and let a team shoot 57 percent from the field," guard Dedric Willoughby said.

Willoughby, a transfer from New Orleans U., is one of a jillion new bodies wearing cardinal and gold uniforms this season, and he's arguably the best.

Willoughby, who trails only Oklahoma's Ryan Minor in the Big Eight scoring race, produced 24 points against the Jayhawks, 19 in the second half.

It was the 6-foot-3 Willoughby's first trip to Allen Fieldhouse and his first game against Kansas. He was impressed.

"Roy Williams does a great job with their guys," Willoughby said. "It looks like if he tells them to do something they do it. I wouldn't be surprised if they won the NCAA championship."

Iowa State had won 16 of its first 20 games primarily because it was holding opponents to 41.4 percent shooting and 61.5 points a game.

"Our M.O. has been to hold teams to 41 percent, but they have too many weapons," second-year ISU coach Tim Floyd said. "Their inside guys were devastating. We never had an answer. It was Pollard and LaFrentz all night long."

Scot Pollard and Raef LaFrentz combined for 37 points and 22 rebounds.

"The first five minutes of the second half we knew they were going inside on us and we couldn't stop it," Floyd said.

Kelvin Cato, the Cyclones' 6-foot-11 center, had 12 points in the first half, but he played only six minutes in the second half after straining a back muscle and didn't score.

"We knew they were strong inside, and we didn't do the things we needed to do to stop them," said Cato, a transfer from South Alabama.

But Kansas' relentless pace, Cato felt, was more telling.

"We weren't expecting to run," he said. "We tried to slow the game down and they wouldn't let us. I think that was the key to the game."

It was Iowa State's 14 straight loss in Allen Fieldhouse and the 23rd ISU defeat here in the last 24 trips.

"I'm glad," Floyd quipped, "we could contribute to Roy Williams' assault on Clair Bee's all-time winning percentage."

Actually, Bee is No. 2 on that chart behind Fresno State's Jerry Tarkanian who began this season with a winning percentage of .837. Bee's was .826. After Wednesday's victory, Williams' percentage climbed to .796 (203-52).

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