Thursday, November 23, 2017

Somber Cyclones keep rolling


AMES, Iowa — Iowa State capped one of the saddest days in program history with a reminder of why its future looks so bright.

DeAndre Kane had 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and No. 13 Iowa State blew past Northern Illinois 99-63 Tuesday night for its 12th straight win.

Melvin Ejim and Naz Long had 17 points each for the Cyclones (12-0), who rolled past the Huskies just hours after learning of the death of longtime former coach Johnny Orr.

Orr, who was 86, spent 29 years as a Division I coach, with current Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg among his many star players.

Orr won a school-record 218 games at Iowa State from 1980-94.

"This has been as hard a day as I've had in coaching. I talked to our guys just about what Johnny meant to the entire community, to the state, to college basketball in general," Hoiberg said. "I told (the team), 'Guys, I'm going to need you. This is going to be a rough one for me to get through.' And they did that for us, and they did that for him."

Dontel Highsmith had 19 points for Northern Illinois, which had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Hoiberg grew up in Ames idolizing Orr and later starred for Iowa State at the tail end of Orr's illustrious career.

The Cyclones made sure their grieving coach never had to worry about the outcome. And they did it in a way that would have made Orr proud.

Orr's Iowa State teams were synonymous with the fast break, and the Cyclones ran the Huskies out of the gym in the first half.

Iowa State was ahead 28-10 less than eight minutes in, and Northern Illinois never got within single digits again. The Cyclones set a season high for first-half points on an alley-oop pass from Kane to Ejim that gave them a 55-34 lead.

"I talked about, when Johnny got here, the exciting brand of basketball that he brought to Hilton Coliseum, let's bring that back. And our guys responded. They went out and scored 55 points in the first half — and that's Johnny Orr basketball," Hoiberg said.

Kane could have easily posted the fifth triple double in school history. But Hoiberg pulled him midway through the second half with the game well in hand.

"We got a chance to meet Coach Orr. He was a great guy, and we just wanted to get this win for him," Kane said. "We wanted to start out fast, jump on those guys and get a win for Coach Orr."

Orr spent 29 seasons as a Division I coach. Twelve were at Michigan, where he guided the Wolverines to four NCAA Tournament berths, the national title game in 1976 and 209 wins, most in school history. He finished 466-346 with 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.

NO. 2 SYRACUSE 70, E. MICH. 48: Jerami Grant had 15 points in his first start of the season, Rakeem Christmas matched his career high with 15 points and the host Orange (13-0) romped in the final nonconference game for both teams.

NO. 3 OHIO ST. 78, PURDUE 69: LaQuinton Ross had 25 points and 12 rebounds, both career bests, and Shannon Scott added a career-high 18 points for the visiting Buckeyes (14-0), who matched the fourth-best start in school history in their Big Ten opener.

NO. 5 MICH. ST. 79, PENN ST. 63: Branden Dawson scored 20, Keith Appling had 14 and the visiting Spartans (12-1) clamped down on defense in the second half to win their Big Ten opener for both teams. Dawson keyed a second-half charge to help the Spartans rally from a halftime deficit and win their fifth straight game.

NO. 7 DUKE 86, ELON 48: Andre Dawkins had 15 points and freshman Jabari Parker tied his season high with 10 rebounds for the visiting Blue Devils (11-2), who never trailed and had little trouble winning their fifth straight.

NO. 11 VILLANOVA 76, BUTLER 73, OT: JayVaughn Pinkston had 22 points for the visiting Wildcats (12-1), who rebounded from Saturday's loss at Syracuse to win their Big East opener. The Bulldogs were debuting in their third conference in three seasons, after leaving the Horizon League after 2011-12 and playing in the Atlantic 10 last season.

NO. 14 LOUISVILLE 90, UCF 65: Russ Smith hit six 3-pointers and finished with 24 points and nine assists as the visiting Cardinals (12-2) blew out the Knights (8-4) in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

NO. 19 UNC 84, UNCW 51: James Michael McAdoo had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the host Tar Heels (10-3) became the third program to reach 2,100 victories.

NO. 22 IOWA 67, NEBRASKA 57: Devyn Marble had 15 points and eight rebounds for the host Hawkeyes (12-2), who led by as many as 20 points in the second half and rolled in their Big Ten opener.

NO. 6 OKLAHOMA ST.: Starting forward Michael Cobbins will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.


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