SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Steve Prohm’s Iowa State debut was a success.
Georges Niang scored 17 points, and the seventh-ranked Cyclones held off Colorado 68-62 on Friday in Prohm’s first game as coach.
Abdel Nader had 14 points and Naz Mitrou-Long scored 13 for the Cyclones, who held the Buffaloes to just 36.5 percent shooting.
Niang, a preseason All-American, also had a pair of assists - including an alley-oop pass to Jameel McKay that put Iowa State ahead 64-57 with 1:13 to go.
“The first game of the year, so it ain’t always going to be pretty,” Prohm said.
George King had 14 points for Colorado, which was picked seventh in the Pac-12’s preseason media poll. The reserve was 4 for 8 from 3-point range.
Prohm, who was 104-29 in four seasons at Murray State, replaced Fred Hoiberg in May after Hoiberg jumped to the Chicago Bulls.
Prohm promised the Cyclones would look very similar to Hoiberg’s high-scoring teams, but with an added emphasis on defense and rebounding.
Iowa State made progress on both counts in the opener. The Cyclones allowed Colorado to hit nine 3s on a litany of clear looks, but they forced 18 turnovers.
“Our guys were resilient. I thought we defended well for really long spurts,” Prohm said. “I thought we rebounded well, kept them off the glass.”
Neither team could get much going before Iowa State scored eight straight to take a 30-25 lead. The Cyclones (1-0) really got going after the break.
Spurred on by a pro-Iowa State crowd, the Cyclones started attacking the basket and jumped ahead 40-27. Colorado responded with an 11-0 run, but the Cyclones led the entire half.
Dominique Collier scored 13 points for the Buffaloes (0-1), and Josh Scott had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Colorado could have made it a one-point game with 15 seconds left, but Xavier Talton missed a 3 and Nader sealed it at the line.
“We played hard. The effort was there. We just made a lot of mistakes early. A lot of mistakes that cost us the game,” Collier said.
Colorado: Colorado went 16-18 last season and 7-11 in the league, and Scott was second on the team with 14.5 points and first with 8.4 rebounds. … The Buffs and Cyclones spent decades as conference rivals before Colorado left the Big 12. Iowa State leads the series 78-70.
Iowa State: The Cyclones received $125,000 for playing in the Sanford Pentagon, a 3,200-seat gym built in 2013 to resemble a field house from the 1950s. The scoreboard above half court and two more in the corners feature manual clocks. … Iowa State was picked to finish third in the Big 12 preseason poll. … Mitrou-Long added Mitrou to his surname this season to honor his mother.
Perhaps the biggest concern for Iowa State until transfer Deonte Burton becomes eligible in December is its depth. The Cyclones played just seven guys against the Buffaloes, even though Niang, McKay and Nader each finished with four fouls.
“First game jitters. I didn’t play well offensively. I feel like a couple of shots were forced throughout the whole team. But we can all look at each and admit that so it shouldn’t be a problem,” said McKay, who was 4 of 9 shooting and committed 10 turnovers, though he also had 10 rebounds.
Iowa State hosts Chicago State in its home opener on Monday.
Colorado visits Auburn on Tuesday.
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