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Clyburn, ’Clones thump BYU

December 2, 2012
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (sports@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

AMES - Iowa State brought in Will Clyburn from Utah because he can score.

The Cyclones finally saw what Clyburn is capable of when he takes over a game.

Clyburn scored a career-high 32 points and Iowa State snapped a two-game losing streak by beating BYU 83-62. Melvin Ejim added 13 points for the Cyclones (5-2), who shot 48 percent from the floor in a surprisingly easy victory over the Cougars.

"Will had a special game, and I thought our guys did a good job of finding him," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We felt that Will could go out there and really attack."

Iowa State took control with a 12-0 run spanning the halves. The Cyclones jumped ahead by as much as 58-41 early in the second half and cruised to their 12th straight home win dating back to last season.

Brandon Davies had 20 points to lead BYU (5-3), which saw its three-game win streak snapped. The Cougars hit just four 3s in 20 tries.

"They are a tough team to guard. They spread you out so well," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "(Clyburn) got some open looks and he hit them. I think we ended up playing him better, but he was just really good."

The Cyclones and Cougars had each dropped their first two games against high majors on neutral floors. Iowa State fell to No. 17 Cincinnati and No. 24 UNLV in Las Vegas, and BYU lost to Florida State and Notre Dame in Brooklyn.

The Cyclones weren't about to drop another one that could prove crucial for the NCAA tournament resume.

"We knew this was a huge game for us. BYU is going to be one of the top teams in their conference," Iowa State guard Chris Babb said. "We were very prepared for this game, so we came out and did what we needed to do."

Iowa State, which entered Saturday fifth in the nation in rebounding margin at plus-14, grabbed 30 defensive rebounds and shot 20 of 25 from the free-throw line.

But Clyburn was by far the biggest reason why the Cyclones cruised to their best win of the young season.

Clyburn faced BYU twice during his lone season at Utah in 2010-11, averaging 20.5 points per game. It didn't take long for him to heat up in his third crack at the Cougars.

Clyburn hit his first four tries from 3-point range and had 19 points in just 15 minutes as Iowa State broke open a tight game and grabbed a 38-29 lead. He then dunked over 6-foot-11 Nate Austin on an alley-oop - tying his season-high in points in the process - as Cyclones pushed their lead to 48-37 by halftime.

"You feel very comfortable and you try and just keep it going so you've got to just keep playing hard," Clyburn said.

Clyburn, who scored 21 in the loss to UNLV, capped off the best day of his career with a two-handed slam on the break with 5:18 left, putting Iowa State up 76-57.

"The aggressiveness I've seen out of Will the last two games - if he continues to play like that the rest of the year he's going to have a good season," Hoiberg said.

Iowa State also held BYU's top scorers, Tyler Haws and Davies, largely in check.

The pair came in averaging a combined 41 points per game. But they each had just seven in the first half as the Cyclones built a double-digit lead they never let up - and Haws finished with just nine points on 4-of-13 shooting.

"I think they played him how we had expected," Rose said of Davies. "I thought Brandon handled it pretty well. I think when you throw it out a couple times and you don't get results then you try to force things yourself."

Matt Carlino had 12 for the Cougars, who host rivals Utah State and Utah next week. BYU also has games against Baylor and Virginia Tech left before the start of West Coast Conference play.

Korie Lucious had 12 points and tied a season high with nine assists for the Cyclones.

 
 

 

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