AMES, Iowa (AP)Aljaz Kunc scored 21 points and No. 20 Iowa State broke away in the second half to beat McNeese State 77-40 on Sunday.
Jaren Holmes added 17 points for the Cyclones (8-2) and Gabe Kalscheur scored 15.
Ahead 33-24 at the break, Iowa State scored the first 15 points of the second half. McNeese (3-7) committed 10 turnovers in the first eight minutes of the period, leading to 13 points for the Cyclones.
”Our guys came out of that locker room with great intensity, with a lot of pride in getting stops,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. ”We really demand that to start halves we bring tremendous energy, and that’s exactly what happened to start that second half.”
Zach Scott and Trae English each scored eight points for McNeese, which finished with 30 turnovers.
The Cyclones shot 54.5% overall, including 10 of 18 from 3-point range.
”We wanted to try and take away some of the inside stuff they do well,” McNeese coach John Aiken said. ”We knew were going to give up some 3s. Their guys made shots.”
Iowa State jumped to 12-2 lead, then used an 8-0 run to make it 22-11. Kalscheur provided the last five points with a layup and a 3.
The Cyclones were coming off a Thursday loss at rival Iowa.
”I thought it was a bounce-back game for us,” Kunc said. ”Obviously, it was a good performance by all of us. We showed up ready to play and brought a lot of energy back.”
Iowa State could fall out of the Top 25 after Thursday’s 75-56 loss at Iowa. The Cyclones’ schedule should soften the next couple weeks, with games against Western Michigan and Omaha, before the Big 12 opener Jan. 31 against Baylor. McNeese lost at Baylor 89-60 on Nov. 23.
McNeese hosts Lafayette on Thursday.
Iowa State hosts Western Michigan on Dec. 18.
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