Honolul, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Matching their best start in program
history, the 14th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones close out the Diamond Head
Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center against the Boise State Broncos in the
title game on Christmas Day.
The Cyclones are one of nine Division I programs still undefeated at this
point in the campaign, producing a mark of 10-0 to equal the start generated
by the 1996-97 ISU squad. Iowa State arrived in Honolulu after defeating in-
state rival Iowa by a mere three points, but the games on the island have been
far more comfortable, with the squad taking out George Mason in the first
round, 79-67, and following that up with an 83-60 thrashing of Akron two days
As for the Broncos, they too have 10 wins at the moment, although those are
coupled with a pair of defeats against Kentucky and Saint Mary's back on the
mainland. Boise State kicked off this event with a narrow 62-61 victory over
host Hawaii on Sunday night and followed that up with a far more convincing
80-54 blowout of South Carolina on Monday in order to advance to the title
In terms of the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood,
this is the first-ever meeting.
Akron caught the Cyclones napping early on in their meeting on Monday, moving
out to an eight-point lead with just under nine minutes to play in the first
half, but ISU responded. The Cyclones managed to take a 37-31 lead into the
break based on 51.9 percent shooting from the floor and then pulled away in
the second half with 55.2 percent accuracy. Except for Matt Thomas, who
finished with just three points, every starter landed in double figures for
the Cyclones, beginning with Melvin Ejim who registered a double-double with
21 points and 12 rebounds. Georges Niang accounted for a game-high 22 points.
Dustin Hogue pitched in with 18 pints and DeAndre Kane supplemented his 15
points and 11 rebounds with five assists.
While he may be the last of the double-digit scorers for Iowa State with 13.6
ppg, Hogue continues to play a huge role in the paint for the group with his
10.4 rpg, aiding the team with a rebounding advantage of 6.5 rpg. Ejim (18.4
ppg) hits the glass to the tune of 8.6 rpg and Kane (14.1 ppg, 59 assists)
chips in 7.7 rpg.
Anthony Drmic scored a game-high 30 points as the Broncos crushed the South
Carolina Gamecocks by 26 points in the semifinals of the tourney on Monday.
Drmic shot 10-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-11 at the free-throw line, adding
six rebounds for the Broncos. Mikey Thompson came off the bench to provide 10
points, while Jeff Elorriaga and Ryan Watkins responded with nine and eight
points, respectively. Defensively, Boise State held the Gamecocks to just 37.3
percent shooting from the floor, including 4-of-16 behind the 3-point line,
and forced 18 turnovers.
So far the defense for the Broncos has limited the competition to just 68.6
ppg. While it may sound like a significant number in some cases, it pales in
comparison to the 83.8 ppg generated by the BSU offense. Drmic is doing much
of the damage with 19.8 ppg, followed by Derrick Marks with 15.8 ppg.
Elorriaga (12.2 ppg) tends to pick his spots, but when he lines it up from 3-
point range there's no one better, as he connects on 59.1 percent (39-of-66)
of his perimeter attempts.
The Sports Network