Honolulu, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - The first-ever meeting between Iowa State and Akron takes place in Honolulu today, as the Cyclones put their unblemished record on the line in the semifinal round of the annual Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
One of only a handful of Division I programs still undefeated at this point in the campaign, the Cyclones are off to their best start in nearly two decades with nine wins in as many opportunities. On Sunday, the squad easily dismissed George Mason in the opening round of this tournament by a score of 79-67.
As for the Zips, they are currently enjoying a five-game win streak after taking out Oregon State yesterday by a score of 83-71. The victory was just the second in four tries outside of Akron for the program.
The winner of this meeting will head to the title tilt on Christmas day.
The Cyclones shot just 5-of-21 (.238) behind the 3-point line and collected six offensive rebounds yesterday afternoon, but the team made up for those deficits with a 22-7 scoring advantage over George Mason in the double-digit win. Georges Niang scored a team-best 22 points, leading four starters in double figures, while Dustin Hogue came up with 17 points and nine rebounds. Melvin Ejim registered a double-double consisting of 14 points and 11 rebounds, while DeAndre Kane filled out his stat line with 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
In all but one game this season, the Cyclones have had at least one player score 20 points, with the overall leader through nine games being Ejim with his 18.0 ppg, although he has appeared in two fewer contests. Ejim is also a strong rebounder with 8.1 per game, but the first place position in that department goes to Hogue who supplements his 13.1 ppg with 10.9 rpg. Throw in Kane (14.0 ppg) with his 7.3 rpg and it is easy to see how this squad clears almost 44 rpg.
Demetrius Treadwell registered a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, as the Akron Zips captured the 12-point win over the Oregon State Beavers in the opening round of the tournament yesterday. Treadwell shot 7-of-10 from the floor and 10-of-13 at the free-throw line, not to mention posting four assists for the Zips. Also scoring in double figures for Akron were Nyles Evans and Quincy Diggs with 17 and 11 points, respectively. More than anything else, the Zips came up with the win thanks to a 30-6 scoring edge beyond the arc, not to mention a 10-0 start to the first half.
Treadwell has been huge for the Zips in the early going this season, averaging not only 15.8 ppg to pace the group but also pulling down 8.9 rpg. A 50.0 percent shooter from the floor, if there is one drawback to having Treadwell on the floor it is his 65.2 percent effort at the free-throw line. Diggs pitches in with 12.5 ppg, adding not only 4.4 rpg but also 3.1 apg, although his 3.4 turnovers per contest are certainly an issue that he needs to address.