AMES — It was 90 minutes before tip-off Wednesday and who was out on the Hilton Coliseum floor getting extra shots up in advance of Iowa State’s game with Nebraska?
It was Craig Brackins, who had hit just 18 of his previous 68 field goal attempts. The all-Big 12 forward has been doing all he can to break out of this slump.
“Some guys hide when they struggle and some guys attack it,” Coach Greg McDermott said following ISU’s 78-74 victory. “Right now (attacking) is what he’s doing.”
Whatever he did — it worked. Brackins finished with 21 points — 14 in the second half and 11 down the stretch — to go with 10 rebounds. He hit 7 of his 12 shots from the filed.
“Craig is a great player and rose to the occasion,” said guard Scott Christopherson, who added 17 points of his own and was key in helping snap a six-game losing streak.
Brackins talked earlier in the week about doing more extra work after practices and on his own. He stayed true to his word.
“I made sure I had extra shots,” Brackins said.
The victory puts ISU into a tie for 10th place in the Big 12 Conferenece standings with Colorado, who happens to be its opponent Saturday afternoon.
For a few days at least, the Cyclones can bask in the feeling of a win and quell some of the talk that McDermott’s job may be on the line.
ISU notched McDermott’s 17th Big 12 victory Wednesday night. It was his sixth over Nebraska.