Iowa State opened the basketball season with an expected easy victory over UNC-Wilmington that saw sophomore guard Naz Long emerge as an offensive threat.
The Cyclones routed UNCW, 95-62, leading by as many as 43 points along the way. ISU broke away from a one-point game by outscoring the hapless Seahawks, 38-9, over the final 10 minutes of the first half.
Long, who only attempted 18 three-point field goals in all of his freshman year - making five - went 8-of-11 from behind the arc in Sunday's blowout. Long had 20 points at the half with six made three-pointers and finished the afternoon with a game-high and career-high 26 points.
Iowa State, now 1-0, hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday night.
After jumping out to a 12-4 lead in the first 6 ½ minutes of the game, ISU went into a lull and let visiting UNCW go on a 9-1 run to make it a 14-13 game with just over 10 minutes to go in the half. But the Cyclones got it going again from there, thanks in large part to Long.
A Long three-pointer made it 25-13 Iowa State with 7:33 to go in the half, capping an 11-0 run. Treys by Long made it 31-18 and 36-18 with just under five minutes to play in the half. Freshman Monte Morris got in on the act with back-to-back three-pointers that made it 46-20 and then Long hit two in a row to make it 52-20 and finish a 14-0 run. It was 52-22 at halftime.
The Cyclones' first 40-point lead came on yet another Long three-pointer that made it 74-34 with 13:33 left in the game. Iowa State's biggest lead was 77-34 on a Dustin Hogue three-point play with 12:51 to go. ISU still led by 40 as late as the 2:40 mark at 93-53 before UNCW closed the game on a meaningless 9-2 run to make the final margin just 33.
Iowa State had four other scorers in double figures behind Long, led by Georges Niang with 16 points and DeAndre Kane with 13. Matt Thomas and Hogue both contributed 10 points in their first games as Cyclones. Kane also had 11 rebounds for a double-double day. ISU dominated on the boards, 51-32.
The Cyclones shot 52.4 percent from the field (33-63) for the game, including 46.9 percnt (15-32) from three-point range. Iowa State was just two shy of the school record for made three-pointers in a game (17) set against Kansas last season.
UNCW will be happy to fly home this evening after opening its season with two big losses in the state. Iowa whipped the Seahawks, 82-39, on Friday night.