If there was an award for “Freshmen Basketball Players of the Night”, it’s likely that Iowa State would have swept the honors Wednesday.
National assist-to-turnover margin leader Monte Morris registered 12 assists (an ISU freshman record) and no turnovers in the Cyclones’ 17-point win over West Virginia.
“He does such a good job of recognizing where the play needs to be made,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s throwing lobs, he’s recognizing mismatches and he’s getting the ball into the post.”
Meanwhile, 543 miles away in Stillwater, freshman Jadda Buckley scored a career-best 26 points (hitting 5 three-point shots) in a crucial 17-point victory against 15th-ranked Oklahoma State. It was a huge victory for ISU’s post-season resume.
“A big time win,” Hoiberg said about the women’s team’s victory. “I saw that Jadda (Buckley) had a big game with 26 points (and she did it) on only 12 shots.”
While Morris and Buckley played well beyond their years, both the men and women’s teams got stellar efforts from a veteran guard, too.
DeAndre Kane filled his stat line admirably with 17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in a game that meant a lot to him. Kane, the Marshall transfer, raised his career mark vs. WVU to 2-3.
Junior Nikki Moody had one of the more unusual “double doubles” of the season with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. She missed a “triple double” by 1 point after tallying 9 against the Cowgirls.
You could probably say with certainty if someone picked “Guardcourts of the Night”, the Cyclones would have swept those honors, too.