Iowa State withstands late Trojan charge in Hawaii

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 24, 2000

LAIE, Hawaii

– The Troy State men’s basketball team came into Thursday’s first-round Yahoo! Sports Ivitational game against Iowa State seeking respect against one of the nation’s premier programs.

With a worldwide audience tuning in via the internet and after travelling more than 4,500 miles to have the opportunity, the Trojans accomplished that goal and flirted with a major upset in the process by pushing the Cyclones (8-1) to the limit in a 65-55 loss.

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The Trojans (2-7) sliced what had been as much as a 20-point, second-half deficit to just seven with 2:46 to play but could never push it closer in dropping their tournament opener at the Cannon Acitivities Center on the BYU-Hawaii campus.

Iowa State’s Paul Shirley scored 14 points, including nine in the second half, and Martin Rancik added 11 to lead the Cyclones.

"We did some things really well today and we did some thing that we still need to improve on," Troy State head coach Don Masestri said. "The biggest thing was that we didn’t give up and kept battling. I was proud of the effort. Every day we want to get a little better, and I feel like we are starting to get to that point."

The Trojans came out firing against the Cyclones, leading by seven points early on the heels of an 8-1 run to open the game. Troy State led 18-12 with 9:05 to play in the half, but Iowa State had its way from there, taking a 19-18 lead on a jumper by senior Paul Shirley at the 6:43 mark. A 22-4 run over the final few minutes pushed the Cyclones to a 34-22 lead at the intermission.

The Cyclones continued with more of the same to open the second half, racing to a 45-25 lead with 13:27 to go. Troy State used a 12-0 run to slice its deficit to eight points, 45-37 with 11 minutes to play. Iowa State stretched its lead back to as many as 16 before the Trojans again cut the margin under 10.

Robert Rushing led Troy State with 15 points, while Matt Holman added 12. Iowa State outrebounded the Trojans, 42-29. The Cyclones shot 44 percent from the floor (23-52), while the Trojans shot just 32 percent (18-55).

Troy State will return to tournament play on Friday against the loser of the BYU-Boise State game, which was played later Thursday.