AMES, Iowa. — Wednesday’s tilt between the visiting Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks and the host Iowa State Cyclones is a battle of two teams going in opposite directions.
Eastern Shore comes into the day having lost their last four games, all of which have come on the road. Wednesday marks the fifth game of a six game trek for the Hawks, which will take them to the Christmas break. On the flip side, the Cyclones have won eight straight games after losing their first two games of the season. They won the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which kick-started their winning streak.
The last time the Cyclones and Hawks met was back in 2001. Iowa State cruised to the 77-54 win over the Hawks in Ames, and the Cyclones have won all four previous meetings between the two schools.
Here’s what you need to know in advance of the fifth installment of the series between the Hawks and Cyclones.
In their last outing, an 87-36 loss at the hands of the Creighton Bluejays, the Hawks were held below 40 points for the first time this season. It also marked the third straight game that they were held below 50 points. Eastern Shore is averaging just 56.1 points per game this season, which ranks 350th in the nation.
Only the Coppin State Eagles (55.2) average fewer points per game on offense this season.
Coming into the season, depth was going to be an issue for the Hawks, especially with the injuries to Dontae Caldwell, Ryan Andino, and Isaac Taylor. Freshman guard Colen Gaynor has missed the last two games due to injury, and will likely miss the Hawks’ two games in the state of Iowa. That leaves the Hawks with just six scholarship players for at least the next two contests, severely hindering their depth in the process.
Eastern Shore has seen significant production from freshman forward Miryne Thomas throughout the season. In 10 games, Thomas leads the team with an average of 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. The return of point guard Logan McIntosh has been a big boost for the Hawks, but the team simply doesn’t possess the depth or experience to keep up with their opponents for a full 40-minute game.
As for the Cyclones, who come into Wednesday riding an eight game winning streak, they seem to be clicking on all cylinders. They picked up an impressive win over the Northern Iowa Panthers in the Hy-Vee Classic their last time out, 76-65, and are looking to close out non-conference play with another big home win against the Hawks.
Five of Iowa State’s wins on their current streak have come by double-digits, including each of their last two.
This past off-season, the Cyclones used the transfer market to bolster their roster for both this season and next. Steve Prohm added graduate transfers Jeff Beverly (6.0ppg, 4.0rpg), Hans Brase (4.0ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Zoran Talley Jr. (4.2ppg, 2.3 rpg), and while they haven’t produced high numbers on the court, they provide the team with serviceable role players and add another level of experience to the roster.
On the back end, the duo of senior Donovan Jackson and freshman Lindell Wigginton are leading the way through the first month and a half. Jackson and Wigginton lead the team in scoring, averaging 16.6 points apiece through 10 games. Wigginton is also averaging 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest, while shooting 47% from the field.
Like Eastern Shore, the Cyclones have a short bench, having only used 10 guys all season long. The big difference is the fact that they’re healthy, and have a wealth of experience that allows for them to persevere through the rough patches.
Players to Watch
Maryland Eastern Shore – Logan McIntosh
Early on in 2017-18, McIntosh missed three games due to an ankle injury that he sustained in the Hawks’ season opening win over Valley Forge. In nine games this season, McIntosh is averaging 9.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, providing contributions on both ends of the floor for head coach Bobby Collins. In the eight games since his return, McIntosh has played at least 34 minutes each night out, and has only accumulated a total of seven fouls in those games. His ability to remain on the floor and play big minutes is huge for the Hawks, considering the forwards tend to get into foul trouble more often than not.
Iowa State – Lindell Wigginton
He may only be a freshman, but Canadian guard Lindell Wigginton has enjoyed quite the start to his collegiate career with the Cyclones. Over Iowa State’s current eight game winning streak, the native of Dartmouth, NS has scored in double figures on seven occasions. He has four 20+ point performances over his last five games coming into Wednesday, and has shot 50% or better from the floor each time he scores more than 20 points. Wigginton is finding his groove in year one in the NCAA, and against a Maryland Eastern Shore team that struggles on defense, he could be in for another big performance.
Wednesday night has the potential to get out of hand early.
As said above, the Hawks haven’t scored above 50 points in each of their last three games, and they rank second-last in the nation in points scored per game. Iowa State comes into the night on a roll, having won eight straight, while the Hawks have lost each of their last four. Both streaks will continue on Wednesday, as the Cyclones will cruise to the easy victory over Eastern Shore to continue the streaks for both programs.
Iowa State – 97
Maryland Eastern Shore – 48
– T. Bennett