Iowa State Holds Off Comeback Bid From Maryland Eastern Shore, 55-49

Lard, Cameron
Freshman Cameron Lard (2) came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points on Wednesday, leading Iowa State past Maryland Eastern Shore, 55-49. (Source: Getty Images) (Header: Sports Illustrated)

AMES, Iowa — Both the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks and the Iowa State Cyclones came into Wednesday’s tilt short-handed.

The Hawks have been dealing with injuries all season long, and with the recent injury to guard Colen Gaynor, the Hawks were down to just six active scholarship players against the Cyclones. Their freshmen have been thrown into the fire from the get-go this season, and would play a prominent role yet again on Wednesday.

As for the Cyclones, they were down to eight players themselves. Then, graduate transfer Hans Brase suffered an ankle injury in practice on Tuesday, and it was announced shortly before game-time that he wouldn’t be able to go against the Hawks. That left Steve Prohm’s crew with just seven players in uniform.

From start to finish, it was a low scoring affair. The Hawks held Iowa State to their lowest offensive output of the season. It was the third time this season that the Cyclones were held below 60 points, but unlike the previous two times, they managed to come away victorious on Wednesday.

Iowa State took a 17-point lead at half-time, and looked to be in control. But, the Hawks outscored the Cyclones by 11 in the second frame, and made things interesting. When all was said and done, Iowa State held off a late rally from Eastern Shore to notch their ninth straight win by way of a 55-49 decision over the Hawks.

Freshman Cameron Lard came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points in the win for the Cyclones. It marked the third straight game in double figures for Lard. Fellow freshman Lindell Wigginton was held to just five point, on 2-of-10 shooting.

Nick Weiler-Babb added seven points, 12 rebounds, and six assists for a well-rounded performance.

For the Hawks, Ahmad Frost led all scorers with 19 points on the night. The veteran played 37 minutes off the bench, and was 7-of-17 from the floor in the loss. Logan McIntosh added 17 points, eight rebounds, four steals, and three assists for another strong showing on both ends of the floor.

With 9:35 to play in the second half, Lard put the Cyclones ahead by 21 points with a dunk inside. Iowa State was ahead by a margin of 49-28, and were looking to put the Hawks away for good.

Eastern Shore had other ideas, and went on a run to make things interesting down the stretch.

McIntosh answered Lard’s dunk with a layup to kick-start what would turn out to be a 12-0 run for the visitors. McIntosh scored eight of the 12 points on the run, with Frost and Michael Odiana chipping in a basket each. The Hawks held the Cyclones off the scoreboard for close to four minutes, and managed to cut the lead down to just nine points with under six minutes to play.

Donovan Jackson ended the run with a corner three for the Cyclones, pushing their lead back to 12 points with 5:45 to play in the game. From there, Iowa State’s lead wasn’t threatened the rest of the way. McIntosh hit a last-second three to get the Hawks to within six points, and that’s how things would end.

It wasn’t pretty, but Iowa State notched their ninth straight victory with a 55-49 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Following the win, Iowa State (9-2, 0-0) enters Big 12 play riding a nine game winning streak. They will need to improve their play on both ends of the floor, as the road gets considerably tougher from here on out. The Cyclones welcome the Kansas State Wildcats to town on December 29th in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

The loss was the fifth straight for Maryland Eastern Shore (3-10, 0-0), all of which have come away from home. The Hawks have one last game in the state of Iowa before Christmas break, and that comes on Friday against the Drake Bulldogs.

– T. Bennett