Yale (4-9) at Iowa State (9-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 1, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hilton Coliseum (14,356) -- Ames, Iowa. Television: Mediacom. Home Record: Yale 2-1, ISU 7-0. Away Record: Yale 1-6, ISU 1-2. Neutral Record: Yale 1-2, ISU 1-1. Conference Record: Yale 0-0, ISU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Iowa State Cyclones will attempt to keep their perfect home record alive, as they prepare for a New Year's Day bout with the Yale Bulldogs.
Yale's season has been a letdown in the early going at just 4-9, especially considering its 19-win season a year ago. The Bulldogs are in the midst of a four-game road swing, and so far it hasn't been kind, as they have suffered losses at Nevada (85-75) and Saint Mary's-CA (78-62).
On the contrary, Iowa State has been rock-solid this year, with wins in nine of its first 12 games. Since losing back-to-back bouts to nationally-ranked foes Cincinnati (78-70) and UNLV (82-70) in late November, the Cyclones have won five of six. They haven't played since Dec. 19 however, when they defeated UMKC on the road, 76-61.
These two teams have never before met on the hardwood.
It hasn't been a pretty start to the season for Yale at the offensive end of the court, as the team is shooting just a shade over 40 percent from the field for an average of 64.7 ppg. It's performance against Saint Mary's was salvaged somewhat by an impressive showing from 3-point range (11-of-24), but overall it was only 24-of-71 from the floor (.338). Greg Kelley was a spark off the bench with 14 points, and all four of his field goals came from beyond the arc. Austin Morgan (11 points) and Javier Duren (10 points) also tallied in double figures. Morgan is the team's leading scorer with 12.8 ppg, and he is draining 2.4 3-pointers per contest at a 35.6 percent clip. The senior guard has also been outstanding from the foul line (.898). Justin Sears has been an impressive frontcourt presence, tallying 10.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg while making good on 50 percent of his field goal attempts.
While Yale was struggled, Iowa State has soared offensively, making greater than 46.3 percent of its field goal attempts for 82.2 ppg, which ranks first in the Big 12. The Cyclones put forth one of their best shooting efforts of the season in their 15-point road win over UMKC, making 56.4 percent of their total shots (including 11-of-23 from 3-point range), while recording assists on 24 of their 31 field goals. Tyrus McGee was on fire in the triumph, going 6-of-9 beyond the arc in netting 20 points, while Chris Babb added 12 points and Korie Lucious (eight assists) and Anthony Booker (seven rebounds) each tallied 11 points. The balanced attack was no accident by ISU, as seven players average at least 8.3 ppg on a nightly basis. Will Clyburn leads the way with 13.8 ppg, while McGee (13.3 ppg) is hot on his heels. Georges Niang adds 10.6 ppg, and Melvin Ejim scores 10.4 ppg and rips down 8.9 rpg for a team that ranks in the top-10 nationally in rebounding margin (plus-11.5).
The long layoff for Iowa State could mean it will have to shake some rust off in the first half, but playing at home against a disappointing and tired Yale squad should mean the Cyclones 10th win is on tap.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa State 77, Yale 62
01/01 10:32:12 ET