AMES, Iowa – Freshman Lindell Wigginton poured in a season-high 28 points, and Iowa State rallied to beat Northern Illinois, 94-80, on Monday night for its fifth straight win.
Senior Donovan Jackson added 24 points with six 3-pointers, and Nick Weiler-Babb had 12 points and 11 assists for the Cyclones (5-2), who overcame depth issues to outscore the Huskies, 58-42, in the second half.
Iowa State certainly looked rusty after a nine-day layoff, falling behind, 38-36, at halftime after letting the Huskies hit 17 of their first 31 shots.
But the Cyclones opened the second half on a 26-11 run, with Wigginton hitting an off-balance 3 to push Iowa State's lead to 10. Jackson followed with a 3 that made it 62-49.
Wigginton then jumped a passing lane at the top of the key and cruised down court for a two-handed dunk and followed with an assist on a Cameron Lard dunk, pushing the Cyclones' lead to 70-51.
Reserves Jakolby Long (concussion) and Zoran Talley (bruised foot) sat out with injuries, leaving Iowa State with just eight available players. Long and Talley are day-to-day according to the Cyclones.
Eugene German had 28 points for the Huskies (5-4).
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa State: Wigginton's move from point to shooting guard has freed the freshman up to attack the basket while looking to score – a valued commodity for a team without a lot of proven scorers. He has responded with 63 points in his last three games. The next question for the Cyclones will be in how they adjust once opponents start making stopping Wigginton a priority.
Northern Illinois: The Huskies lost for just the second time in five games. But if they can play two halves like they did the first one on Monday, they'll be a handful in the MAC.
Iowa State hosts rival Iowa on Thursday. The Hawkeyes were blown out by Indiana on Monday, their fifth loss in six games.
Northern Illinois hosts Central Connecticut State on Saturday.
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