After beating five Top 25 teams so far this season, No. 12 Iowa State will roll into Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge game at Missouri with great confidence.
The Cyclones (15-4) knocked off No. 5 Kansas State 80-76 on Tuesday at home.
“I’d say overall the belief is high, it’s really high,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “You’ve got to have that belief and you’ve got to have the resolve, and then you have to stay together and find a way.”
Iowa State shot 57.1 percent from the floor against the Wildcats and built a 14-to-5 assists-to-turnover ratio with its starting five. Jaren Holmes scored 23 points and Gabe Kalscheur added 19.
“We’re setting early ball screens, keeping it on the move, trying to space them out, sometimes playing over the top, sometimes driving it,” Otzelberger said. “I felt like as much as any game this year, even with the movement, it was our guys being so connected and just making plays for one other.
“So as much as there’s a scheme and a tactical part of it, there’s also a human being part of it. I was so proud of how our guys, how they shared the ball and took advantage of the opportunity that was there.”
Missouri (15-5) is coming off an 89-77 victory at Ole Miss. After missing 25 of their 28 shots from 3-point range in their 85-64 loss to Alabama at home, the Tigers were 16-for-30 from behind the arc against the Rebels.
D’Moi Hodge sank 6 of 11 treys in his 24-point performance. Kobe Brown added four 3-pointers and 18 points.
“They shot the same shots the last three or four games,” Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. “They just didn’t go in and we didn’t want to put any added pressure on our guys. We kept our same routine. We didn’t hit a panic button. I just credit our entire program our entire team for just continuing to not waver and believe in each other and believe in our style.”
The Tigers have gotten a midseason lift from guard Isiaih Mosley, who returned from an unexplained absence to score 47 points in the last three games.
“It feels good to be back, you know,” Mosley told reporters after scoring 20 points at Ole Miss. “I kind of missed a lot of games … but I’ll give a shout out to the coaching staff, give a shout out to Columbia, Missouri, my teammates, because they all had my back. I probably wouldn’t be here if my teammates, Columbia and my coaching staff weren’t so behind me and wanted me to be so successful.”
Mosley, the Missouri Valley Conference scoring leader last season at Missouri State, got his first start of the season with guard Tre Gomillion sidelined by a groin strain. Mosley was 4-for-7 from 3-point range against the Rebels.
“It feels great because that’s one of the things I feel I do at a very high level,” Mosley said. “So, you know, it’s just a matter of time before everything comes together with my teammates. … It feels good to hit some outside shots. I feel like my legs are starting to get back under me.”
–Field Level Media