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Archive for Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Cyclones ‘gagged’ early

January 7, 2003

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— That wasn't a concussion grenade that went off in Hilton Coliseum on Monday night. It wasn't a mortar round, either.

"I'm not sitting here shell-shocked," Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy said after Kansas University's stunning 83-54 win over the Cyclones. "I've seen this before."

Not since he has been at Iowa State, though. No visiting team had ever won by as many as 29 points in 31-year-old Hilton Coliseum.

"I understand why it happened," Eustachy said. "We really got out-toughed. Kansas was very, very impressive. They took us out of our offense."

Iowa State missed its first 11 shots and fell behind 22-2 as 12,084 fans sat in stunned disbelief.

"Our offense stunk tonight," ISU junior guard Jake Sullivan said. "We got down by 20, and if you're down by 20 to Kansas, good luck."

Iowa State players had mixed reactions to Kansas playing for the first time without Wayne Simien, who had dislocated his right shoulder two days earlier.

"I don't think it was a good thing Simien was on their bench," freshman Adam Haluska said. "They really came out and played hard."

Sullivan said he didn't think, however, that Simien's absence was a factor.

"(Jeff) Graves came in and played solid," Sullivan said. "When they lose one player it's not that big a deal because they've got so many good ones."

Eustachy bought into Haluska's theory.

"I'm sure with Wayne being out," the ISU coach said, "they were more focused, especially (Nick) Collison. That was the last time for him to be here, and he'll be an NBA player as long as he stays healthy."

Iowa State came into Monday night's Big 12 Conference opener with 10 wins in its first 11 games, yet the competition was suspect, and nine of those 11 games were in Hilton Coliseum.

Kansas wasted no time exposing the Cyclones as a 10-1 fraud.

"What happened at the beginning is we kind of gagged," Eustachy said. "Usually, your defense wears down as the game goes on, but tonight they got stronger and forced us to drop our heads.

"We didn't give up, but I thought we got discouraged and froze. Keep in mind a lot of times we had four new guys out there."

Iowa State shot a dreadful 29 percent (9 of 31) in the first half and 36.7 percent (22 of 60) for the game while making 20 turnovers and counting only eight assists.

Junior-college transfer point guard Tim Barnes missed seven of his eight shots and finished with as many points as turnovers -- six.

"They capitalized on our mistakes every time," Barnes said. "It was a big eye-opener for us. Now we know how much it will take."

One thing Eustachy learned is how much the Iowa State fans will take.

As poor as the Cyclones played, the ISU coach heard nary a peep from a disgruntled fan.

"This is the darnedest place I've seen," Eustachy said. "I haven't heard a boo since I've been here, and they probably should have booed me tonight."

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