In its 79-61 win over Kansas City Wednesday night, Iowa State was not led by just the traditional scoring options.
While Tyrese Haliburton and Rasir Bolton were still effective for the Cyclones with 19 points each, it was Michael Jacobson that would prove to be the reliable force the Cyclones needed in crucial moments.
The senior from Waukee, Iowa, did it all against the Kangaroos.
Jacobson finished his night with 19 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Jacobson had it going in the first half especially, as he shot 6-6 from the floor with 15 points.
Here is that 3-pointer from Jacobson right before the last media timeout! pic.twitter.com/7S2qeIMIuC— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) December 5, 2019
Jacobson said the Kansas City defense was pressuring so the Cyclones felt they could get beneath them and get the ball to Jacobson easily.
"I was just getting into spots and guys were finding me," Jacobson said.
It was Jacobson's third time in double digits this season, one point shy of his season-high 20 points against Mississippi Valley State in the season opener on Nov. 5.
Jacobson tied a season-high with his eight made field goal attempts.
The success comes at a time after Jacobson struggled in the Battle 4 Atlantis, in which he averaged 6.3 points per game.
After opening the tournament with eight points against Michigan, Jacobson followed that up with 11 points against Alabama but shot 4-12 from the floor.
The final game against Seton Hall was the peak of Jacobson's struggles as he attempted just two shots from the floor. He made neither of them.
Jacobson said that he knew he had to be ready to respond, even if his offensive efficiency was absent against Seton Hall.
"The nights where offense is there I gotta be ready when it's not, that's ok too," Jacobson said.
Head coach Steve Prohm said that Jacobson works every day, even after tough stretches like in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Prohm said he sees Jacobson working to get better and his performance against the Kangaroos was not surprising.
Here is Mike Jacobson with the steal and finish on the other end to force the Kansas City timeout! pic.twitter.com/Zd8k1G5y1m— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) December 5, 2019
For Prohm, Jacobson's first half performance was exactly what Iowa State needed to get over the hump during multiple lead changes.
"He played well tonight, he gave us a really big lift in the first half when we needed one," Prohm said.
It wasn't just scoring that made Jacobson effective, as Jacobson tied his career-high with three steals.
Defense is where Jacobson said he wants to be locked in the most, as his offense is hit or miss on some nights. The Waukee native said that as Iowa State prepares for another matchup with Seton Hall, his defense will need to be the biggest improvement if Iowa State hopes to walk away with a win.
Part of the defensive side Jacobson wants to continue to lock in on is his rebounding, an area Prohm said before the Kansas City game needed improvements.
How about the effort here from Tre Jackson with the assist to Haliburton! pic.twitter.com/L75wHrizss— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) December 5, 2019
Jacobson said that Iowa State knew Kansas City was a slower half-court team with not a lot of opportunities to grab rebounds but being +11 in the rebound margin is still a positive.