Iowa State’s streak-busting in Lincoln continued Saturday night with a 56-53 win at Nebraska, snapping a 16-game Big 12 Conference road losing skid.
Three months earlier — just days apart — it was the Cyclone football team leaving town with its first win at Memorial Stadium since 1977 and ISU’s volleyball team winning its first overall match against the Huskers in 75 tries.
As was the case with football, it wasn’t pretty, but the Cyclones finished strong.
They got the job done defensively down the stretch, holding Nebraska down and forcing tough shots for the offensively challenged Huskers.
ISU survived this one despite shooting 39.3 percent on FGs and having Craig Brackins score just six points.
Brackins, who along with juniors Diante Garrett and Lucca Staiger got his first conference road victory, did pull down 11 rebounds and dish out three assists.
Seven different players had at least six points, led by Marquis Gilstrap’s 15 to go with 12 rebounds.
Next up is a game at Texas Tech on Wednesday. That’s another very winnable road game. Is two in a row too tall a task for this crew?
It wasn’t long ago that depth was thought to be a strength of this team.
The Cyclones are down to eight scholarship players after Saturday’s news that reserve guard Charles Boozer will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Boozer was hurt in Wednesday’s loss to No. 1-ranked Texas.
He would have been an important player off the bench for Coach Greg McDermott over the last half of the season. Instead, he joins Jamie Vanderbeken (ankle) on injured reserve and is the fourth player in the last 10 days to become unavailable.
Forward L.A. Pomlee was dismissed and freshman point guard Chris Colvin is on suspension until at least February.
ISU managed themselves fine agianst Nebraska, but are going to find more difficult tests in the next two months. Right now the help off the bench consists of Scott Christopherson, LaRon Dendy and Dominique Buckley.
McDermott, from all indications, is not considering pulling the redshirt off true freshman Antwon Oliver.
NBA DOWN ON BRACKINS?
The newest issue of ESPN the Magazine includes a not-so-flattering blurb about Brackins’ pro prospects.
In hoops analyst Doug Gottlieb’s notes column, Gottlieb quotes an unnamed NBA scout on Brackins: “He’s wildly overrated.” Gottlieb says league evaluators are seeing the 6-10 big man as “a face-the-basket 3 trapped in a 4’s body without enough athleticism to create his own shot.”
Brackins was a sure first-round NBA Draft pick last June but decided to return to ISU for his junior season.
A mock draft at www.nbadraft.net has Brackins going No. 16 to Minnesota. It also has former Cyclone Wesley Johnson, now at Syracuse, at No. 2 overall behind Kentucky’s freshman point guard John Wall.
Tags: Antwon Oliver, Charles Boozer, Chris Colvin, Craig Brackins, Cyclones, Diante Garrett, Dominique Buckley, Doug Gottlieb, Greg McDermott, Iowa State, Jamie Vanderbeken, John Wall, L.A. Pomlee, LaRon Dendy, Lucca Staiger, Marquis Gilstrap, Nebraska, Scott Christopherson, Texas, Texas Tech, Wesley Johnson