AMES, Iowa (AP) — Royce White scored 17 points, Scott Christopherson added a season-high 16 and Iowa State beat Iowa 86-76 on Friday night, giving the Cyclones their first three-game winning streak over the Hawkeyes since the mid-1980s. Bubu Palo chipped in with a career-high 14 points for Iowa State (7-3), which last won three in a row over the rival Hawkeyes from 1983-85. White had 14 points in the first half, when the Cyclones led by as many as 24. Iowa got as close as 13 midway through the second half, but Iowa State pulled away behind Christopherson to give Fred Hoiberg his fifth win in six tries over Iowa as a player and coach. Devyn Marble scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Hawkeyes (5-5), who’ve lost five of their last seven to drop to .500.
Iowa looked hopelessly behind at the break but went on a 13-2 run early in the second half and pulled within 58-46 with 11:58 left. Christopherson – who’d been moved back to shooting guard this week after a brief stint at the point – answered with a 3-pointer, and Melvin Ejim followed with a 3 to put Iowa State back ahead 64-46. The Hawkeyes still appeared to be on the cusp of another run that could make things interesting, but it never happened. Christopherson delivered the final blows, slicing through Iowa’s frontcourt for three layups to make it 77-57 with 4:44 left.
Iowa State knew Friday night’s game presented the perfect opportunity to prove something after a 6-3 start that included losses to in-state rivals Northern Iowa and Drake. White set the tone early, and his teammates soon followed his lead. White opened the game with two straight emphatic dunks off the dribble, which got the sold-out crowd into it from the beginning. White followed with a 15-footer off the glass and a dish to Ejim for a dunk, and the Cyclones never looked back. White found Ejim for another dunk, this one in transition, and Iowa State’s lead grew to 32-17. Christopherson pushed it to 35-19 with a 3, and Chris Babb’s tip-in of White’s missed free throw put the Cyclones ahead 40-23 with 4:28 left in the first half.
Christopherson’s 3 from the wing 2 minutes later gave the Cyclones their first 20-point lead, 46-25, and just about sealed the win. Iowa State shot 59.4 percent in the first half, and White led the way with 7-of-7 shooting. Melsahn Basabe had an encouraging outing for the Hawkeyes with a season-high 18 points and nine rebounds. Iowa has suffered its share of tough defeats this season, including a 16-point home loss to lowly Campbell and a blowout in Iowa City at the hands of Clemson. But arguably none of those stung as much as Tuesday night’s loss at Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes were within two points midway through the second half when coach Fran McCaffery, forward Zach McCabe and the bench all got technicals in just 20 seconds. That sparked a 20-2 run by the Panthers – and McCaffery’s eventual ejection – as Iowa fell apart and lost 80-60. This was Iowa’s chance to respond on the home floor of one of its biggest rivals. But the Cyclones never gave the Hawkeyes a chance to get going. Iowa used a late run in garbage time to make the final score seem close, but the game never was.