AMES, Iowa (AP) — T.J. Otzelberger became the first Iowa State coach to win his first 10 games with the team, guiding the 17th-ranked Cyclones past Jackson State 47-37 on Sunday.
The Cyclones improved 10-0 after ending last season with 18 straight losses. Iowa State beat Jackson State last Dec. 20, then didn’t win again in finishing 2-22.
Aljaz Kunc led Iowa State with 12 points and Gabe Kalscheur added 11.
Jonas James scored 11 points for Jackson State (2-7).
The Cyclones went more than seven minutes without scoring in the second half and held a shaky 44-37 lead with 2 1/2 minutes left.
But Iowa State didn’t let the Tigers score again, holding them to 40% shooting overall and forcing 22 turnovers.
Jackson State made two early baskets, then the Cyclones scored 19 unanswered points.
Kunc highlighted the run with a four-point play, hitting his free throw after swishing a 3 from the right wing.
Jackson State missed seven shots during a 9 1/2-minute scoring drought. Coach Wayne Brent’s team also committed six turnovers.
Jackson State gradually pulled within 28-22 early in the second half, but Iowa State responded with a 9-0 run to push the margin to 37-22.
Iowa State has gone from an NCAA Tournament long shot to potentially a top 15 team in the rankings. The Cyclones began this weekend as one of six teams nationally to have multiple wins over ranked opponents, having beaten then-No. 25 Xavier and No. 9 Memphis.
Jackson State: The Tigers stay in the state to play at Northern Iowa on Tuesday and at Drake on Thursday.
Iowa State: This game was the first of what should be three consecutive tune-ups for the Cyclones, with Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 19) and Chicago State (Dec. 21) upcoming. Iowa State opens Big 12 play Jan. 1 against No. 2 Baylor.