IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Adam Haluska saw the red in the Iowa
State uniform he once wore and went off.
Haluska scored 20 points against his former team, hitting four
3-pointers, and Iowa (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) fended off a late run by the Cyclones
for a 70-63 victory Friday night.
It was Haluska's first appearance against Iowa State, where he
started as a freshman in the 2002-03 season, and it was memorable.
He made five of his first six shots to help the Hawkeyes (8-1) jump
in front early and they never trailed.
"I was just really focused," Haluska said. "I tried to relax
out there as much as possible and not worry about outside
The Cyclones almost spoiled things for their former player,
however. Down by 11 midway through the second half, Iowa State
(4-2) rallied behind Jared Homan and Will Blalock and drew to 61-60
on Homan's two free throws with 2:06 remaining.
But Iowa's Greg Brunner hit a shot down low and the Hawkeyes
(8-1) made enough free throws in the final minute to hold on.
"With the stretch we've had, I couldn't be more proud of a team
playing two in-state teams that really fight you," said Iowa coach
Steve Alford, whose team beat Northern Iowa 76-73 on Tuesday night.
"They have done everything we've asked them to do. This was a
hard-fought game and they just hung in there and found a way to get
Haluska, who sat out last season after transferring, scored 10
points in the first 9½ minutes and finished 7-for-13 from the
field, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers.
When he fouled out with 21 seconds left, Iowa fans directed
chants of "Thanks for Adam" to the Cyclones.
"Adam hit some shots. I knew he would," Homan said. "You've
got to know he would be fired up for this game after
Homan led Iowa State with a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11
rebounds. Blalock scored 15 and combined with Homan for 16 of the
Cyclones' final 18 points.
Iowa State rallied even though its best player, Curtis Stinson,
fouled out with 7:56 left. Stinson finished with 14 points after
scoring 30 in an 81-79 victory over No. 19 Virginia on Monday
"It alters our game when he fouls out because he scores for
us," Iowa State coach Wayne Morgan said. "We did rally. We fought
very hard. We just made too many mistakes."
Iowa led 52-41 after Haluska fed Pierce for a dunk on a fast
break, and the Hawkeyes were still in control when Pierce converted
a three-point play to make it 61-54 with 4:36 left. Homan answered
by scoring the next six points to get Iowa State within one,
forcing Alford into a timeout.
The Hawkeyes then isolated Brunner on the right side and he
scored on a strong move to the basket to make it 63-60 with 1:48 to
play. Horner's free throw with 18.4 seconds left made it 67-63 and
Brunner swiped the ball from Blalock seconds later and made a free
throw, ending the Cyclones' final hopes.
"They made a big run at us and we didn't want to lose that at
the end," Alford said. "We just told them it's going to all be
about scoring. You're still ahead 61-60 and if they don't score
again you win, so let's get stops."
Haluska wasted no time getting started against his old team,
hitting 3-pointers 30 seconds apart to give the Hawkeyes an 8-2
lead just 1:15 into the game. His jumper at the 16:10 mark made it
13-7 and he scored on a baseline drive with 10:31 remaining for a
"It's always good to start out with hitting the first shot,"
Haluska said. "I think it just got me in a groove the entire
Iowa State tied it twice in the first half and trailed just
34-32 at halftime. Haluska's 3-pointer triggered a 7-0 run that
stretched the lead to 41-32, but the Hawkeyes couldn't finish off
the Cyclones until the end.