AMES, Iowa -- Rod Melton Jr. scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, D.J. Jones added 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and Florida A&M beat Iowa State 70-68 on Tuesday night.
Melton made 9 of 13 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range, and Jones finished with seven rebounds and two blocks. M.J. Randolph had 13 points and Kamron Reaves scored 10 for Florida A&M. The Rattlers (2-9) have won back-to-back games after opening the season with nine consecutive losses.
Iowa State (7-5) led by as many as 13 points in the first half and took a 36-24 lead when Rasir Bolton hit a 3-pointer 22 seconds after halftime. Melton scored six points during a 13-2 run that gave FAMU a 44-42 lead with 12 minutes to play. Bolton made another 3 before George Conditt hit two free throws to give Cyclones a one-point lead with 48 seconds remaining but Melton made a jumper and, after an Iowa State turnover, Randolph made 1-of-2 free throws to seal it.
Bolton finished with a career-high 29 points, including 23 in the second half, for Iowa State. Conditt scored 12 points and Terrence Lewis had 10 points and eight rebounds.
After missing seven of their first nine from the field, the Cyclones hit 11 of their next 16 as they turned a four-point deficit to a 32-20 lead after Bolton made a layup with 4:31 left in the first half.
But Iowa State went cold once again, hitting just four of their next 18 as the Rattlers caught fire and took control of the game.
The Cyclones were without leading-scorer Tyrese Haliburton (17.3 points per game). The sophomore guard, who leads the Big 12 in assists (7.7) and steals (2.6) per game, missed the game due to a wrist injury suffered in practice and is expected to play in the Big 12 opener on Saturday. According to reports, Halliburton's absence was “primarily precautionary, against a team that’s 1-9 and hasn’t played a home game yet this season.”
HURTIN' WITHOUT 'BURTON
Iowa State struggled to find consistent offense in the absence of Halliburton's scoring and playmaking. Bolton made 7 of 9 from the field and 4 of 4 from behind the arc in the second half but the rest of the Cyclones combined for 6-of-15 shooting, including 0 for 5 from 3 after halftime.
Florida A&M: The Rattlers, who were picked to finish ninth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, shot 57.6%, and scored 13 points off 10 Iowa State turnovers, in the second half.
Iowa State: The Cyclones have just one win over Power 5 teams. They did beat then-No. 16 Seton Hall on Dec. 8 in the Big East/Big 12 Battle but the Pirates have since fallen out of the rankings.
Florida A&M opens MEAC play at North Carolina Central on Saturday.
Iowa State plays at TCU, which has won four in a row against the Cyclones, in the Big 12 opener for both teams on Saturday.
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