13th-ranked Cyclones clash with Bulldogs

Dec 20, 2014 - 3:46 PM Des Moines, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Looking to extend a five-game win streak, the 13th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones will clash with the Drake Bulldogs in the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.

Iowa State enters the contest sporting an 8-1 record on the season, which has earned the team the No. 13 spot in the nation. The Cyclones have won five games in a row since a 72-63 loss to Maryland back in late November, which includes an 88-78 victory over Southern in the team's most recent outing.

Drake also took on a SWAC team in its most recent contest. The Bulldogs used a 76-66 victory over Jackson State to snap a five-game losing streak, which dated back to November. The Bulldogs only have two wins on the entire year.

These two in-state rivals have met well over 100 times on the basketball court. The Cyclones hold the all-time series lead, 107-65, which includes a 1-0 mark on neutral-site floors. Iowa State has faced Drake more than any other non-conference opponent.

For a team with just two wins going up against a ranked Iowa State team, Southern performed relatively well in the 10-point loss. Iowa State was better, though, shooting 52.8 percent from the field and making 29-of-33 from the free-throw line in the contest. Bryce Dejean-Jones and Georges Niang each scored 18 points to lead the Cyclones, while Monte Morris contributed 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Naz Long added 13 points in the win, and Dustin Hogue chipped in with 10 and seven rebounds.

Niang leads a group of five Iowa State players in double-digit scoring this season, netting 17.8 ppg on 50.5 percent shooting. Dejean-Jones is close behind Niang's total, averaging 17.3 ppg with a team-best 6.8 rpg. Long (12.8 ppg), Hogue (11.6 ppg) and Morris (11.2 ppg) round out the team's deep list of scoring threats. The Cyclones have been absolutely dominant offensively, netting 84.8 ppg on 50.2 percent shooting as a unit, while the defense limits teams to 70.1 ppg this season.

Drake desperately needed a win over Jackson State to get back on track. They did just that on 46.2 percent shooting, adding in a whopping 34- of-41 mark from the free-throw line against the Tigers. Reed Timmer scored 19 points to pace the Bulldogs, hitting a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. Jacob Enevold netted 17 points with eight rebounds, Chris Caird chipped in 14 points and Gary Ricks contributed 11 with seven rebounds and five assists in the winning effort.

Ricks started the season on Drake's suspended list, but since returning to the team seven games ago, he's been a consistent contributor. The guard is averaging 11.7 ppg to lead the team on 46 percent shooting, adding in six steals and a 3.4 rpg mark to his resume. Timmer is the only other Bulldog to average a double-digit point total, netting 11.0 ppg with a team-best 29 assists. Drake is netting 61.8 ppg as a team, but has struggled to contain anyone defensively, allowing 70.6 ppg on 47.9 percent shooting.

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