Free throw shooting almost cost the Iowa State Cyclones in their Friday the 13th matchup against their in-state rival Iowa. The Cyclones shot 63.9 percent from the charity stripe against the Hawkeyes. Iowa State was able to survive their sub-stellar team shooting percentage by hitting their free throws towards the end of the contest.
As the final team in the Big 12 Conference competing in an in-season tournament, Iowa State would need to have premium free throw shooting throughout the tournament to become the first and only team in the conference to take home some early season hardware.
Iowa State got off to a pretty good start against their first opponent in the Diamond Head Classic. George Mason was put at arm’s length throughout the contest, which forced them to intentionally foul late in the second half and to pray for an Iowa State miss.
That would never happen as the Cyclones shot a pristine 78.6 percent from the free throw line. The Cyclones did miss five free throws in the second half, but with a nearly 15-percent improvement in free-throw percentage the Cyclones have taken a step in the right direction.
With a 79-67 victory against George Mason, the Cyclones improve to 9-0 on the season. Iowa State has only been 9-0 once before, and that was in 1996-97. Tomorrow, Iowa State will have an opportunity to make their best start in team history tomorrow with a win in the semi-final round of the Diamond Head Classic.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.