Scores

Final

North Dakota St 54

(8-5, 2-4 away)

Iowa State 67

(9-5, 8-2 home)

    2:00 PM ET, December 31, 2006

    Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa

    1 2 T
    NDSU 21 3354
    ISU 24 4367

    Top Performers

    North Dakota St: B. Woodside 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Iowa State: J. Hubalek 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Blk

    Iowa State 67, North Dakota State 54

    AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Welcome back, Jiri Hubalek.

    Shaking off the frustration from what has been a difficult season, Hubalek was a force for Iowa State on Sunday, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the Cyclones to a hard-earned 67-54 victory over North Dakota State.

    Hubalek was suspended for the first six games, then struggled to catch on to new coach Greg McDermott's system. The 6-foot-11 junior had been averaging 7.6 points and shooting 37 percent.

    "I've been working hard in practice and it paid off," Hubalek said. "It was happening in practice. I just wanted it to carry over to the game and stick with the game plan."

    Hubalek established himself down low and stayed with it after missing some easy shots early on. He scored on a variety of low-post moves in finishing 6-for-13 from the field and got himself to the free throw line, where he went 7-for-8.

    "We wanted to get out on their 3-point shooters and you have to make a choice," North Dakota State coach Tim Miles said. "We decided to guard Hubalek man-to-man and he got good shots. But we decided that we would make them beat us two at a time instead of three at a time."

    Hubalek roamed the perimeter much of the time under former coach Wayne Morgan last season. McDermott is trying to change that and it's been a challenge -- for both player and coach.

    "We wanted him to think block first and 3-point shot second," McDermott said. "It's a lot easier said than done. But he's bought into it. He can do something nobody else on our team can do. He's the best low-post scorer we have."

    Hubalek's previous high was 16 points against Texas A&M last season. His best this season had been 12 points against Northern Iowa, but he was just 4-for-18 in that game.

    So, Jiri, has coach been tough on you?

    "Honestly, yeah," Hubalek said. Then he added:

    "He's just trying to get me better and I really appreciate it. He's helping me become a better player. I'm happy he didn't give up on me."

    Mike Taylor added 17 points for Iowa State (9-5), all in the second half, and Rahshon Clark scored 12. Wesley Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cyclones and made two steals.

    Mike Nelson led North Dakota State (8-5) with 17 points, Ben Woodside scored 16 and Andre Smith 14.

    The game sent McDermott against the school he coached in the 2000-01 season. McDermott left after that season to begin a five-year stint at Northern Iowa and he moved to Iowa State last March.

    Northern Iowa beat Iowa State earlier this season and the Cyclones had to scramble to avoid leaving their coach with another loss to one of his former teams.

    North Dakota State, which upset then-No. 8 Marquette earlier this season, led by four in the first half and was up 30-28 after Woodside's 3-pointer early in the second half.

    "I was really scared of this game," said McDermott, whose team was coming off a weeklong break. "I've really been hard on them (in practice) this week. From a fatigue standpoint, I was a little concerned what we had left in the tank."

    Iowa State tied it on Taylor's first basket and Clark scored underneath to put the Cyclones ahead to stay. Taylor then hit a 3 to make it 35-30 and Iowa State eventually took control with the help of a technical foul on Smith.

    North Dakota State trailed 42-36 when Smith was whistled after jawing with the officials. Johnson sank the two free throws for the technical, starting a 14-6 run that stretched the lead to 56-42 with 4:14 remaining. Hubalek got two inside baskets and sank two free throws during the run.

    "Their athleticism and big bodies were a big factor in the game," Nelson said. "In the second half, we started to get our offense going, but they were getting key rebounds and putbacks."

    Woodside's fourth 3-pointer capped a 7-0 burst that drew the Bison to 56-49. But consecutive layups by Taylor and Clark blunted the Bison's charge and they never threatened again.

    Iowa State looked like a team coming off a break at the start.

    The Cyclones missed 13 of their first 15 shots and trailed 21-17 before scoring the final seven points of the half. The Bison couldn't take control because they were getting outrebounded and shot only 8-for-30 in the opening half.

    "This long break, we've been going two-a-days every single day," Taylor said. "It's really been a defensive mindset this whole break. We came out with a defense-first mindset and that carried over to the offense."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NDSU
    ISU
    Points 54 67
    FG Made-Attempted 19-63 (.302) 25-59 (.424)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-13 (.538) 4-14 (.286)
    FT Made-Attempted 9-9 (1.000) 13-16 (.813)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 11 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 14

    2006-07 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Dec 31, 2006 @ISU 67, NDSU 54Recap