AMES – Donovan Jackson lived in 23 houses growing up. He never imagined he’d find a permanent home in Ames, Iowa after only spending two seasons at Iowa State.
The Cyclones had an up and down season this year, with more downs than ups. But the fans were there every game, supporting Jackson and the Cyclones, especially when Jackson needed them the most.
“A true testament to what Iowa State is about is, I saw three people in the airport yesterday and they all showed me love and support after my dad has passed,” Jackson said as he addressed the Hilton crowd after the game during his senior speech. “That meant so much to me to know that I have a fan base like you guys to support me and help me through this tough time. Words can’t explain how much you guys mean to me and my family.”
Iowa State (13-16, 4-13 Big 12) lost Tuesday to Oklahoma State (17-13, 7-10 Big 12) 80-71 in Hilton Coliseum on senior night. Jackson’s whole family was there except his dad. But his dad was able to see him play in Hilton before that.
“I am so proud that my dad got to see me fulfill my dream here,” Jackson said.
The Cyclones went through periods of stagnant offense throughout the game. They allowed Oklahoma State to go on a 10-0 run in the first half, and opened the second half shooting 1-12 from the field.
Jackson and Lindell Wigginton were the only sources for a semi-consistent offense.
Jackson finished with 17 points on 5-10 shooting from 3-point range, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Wigginton went off in the first half, scoring 14 first-half points. He finished with 20 points on 6-14 shooting. Jackson acted as a mentor for Wigginton the whole season.
“He’s just been a leader on and off the court,” Wigginton said. “He leads the whole team. On the court, we look up to him and he brings a lot of energy.”
Iowa State’s struggles weren’t limited to the offensive end. The Cyclones had a tough time in transition defense.
“Our transition defense, our communication, it’s just poor,” coach Steve Prohm said. “We have to figure out a way to get these guys talking and stop giving up easy baskets because it snowballs so fast on us and affects our pace of play on offense.”
Defensively, Iowa State had no answer for Oklahoma State’s Cameron McGriff and Jeffery Carroll.
McGriff had an efficient 19 points on 5-8 shooting. Carroll did the bulk of the scoring for the Cowboys, pouring in 21 points.
“I think just a lack of pride,” Jackson said. “Defense comes with pride. We’re not doing a good job with that. There’s a self-check that needs to happen.”
This game, in a lot of ways, reflected Iowa State's season. There were ups and downs, but more downs than ups.
The end of the season was tough for Jackson, and it was tough for him after the game as he addressed the crowd.
“It was pretty emotional – I didn’t cry," Jackson said. "It’s just different without having my dad here. I’m trying to deal with it, but it was pretty emotional for me.”