Iowa State dismantles Grambling State, moves to 4-0 on the season


Gabe Kalscheur drives to the basket in a game against the Grambling State Tigers on Nov. 21.

James Powell

Heading into Sunday’s match-up with Grambling State, the Cyclones found themselves at 3-0, despite shooting at just under 44 percent from the field and scoring around 70 points per game.

T.J. Otzelberger and his team have been led by their stout defense and being able to create turnovers and get out in transition.

The last of their four-game homestand to begin the season came against the Tigers of Grambling State, who came into the game at 0-3. And the Cyclones ended with a win.

Iowa State made just five of their first 14 shots, leading to a 15-12 advantage early on for the visiting Tigers. Izaiah Brockington, who led his team in minutes coming into the game, picked up two quick fouls and was forced to sit earlier than usual.

Aljaz Kunc checked into the game, and immediately made an impact.

He scored 12 points in his first seven minutes, making his first five shots including three from long range. The play of Kunc gave the Cyclones a 10-point lead halfway through the first half after going on a 13-0 run.

The lead got all the way up to 18 with about five minutes to go in half number one, thanks to a 58 percent start from deep for the Cyclones. 

Iowa State kept piling it on, and went into the locker room up 24 points thanks to 15 points from Kunc, 10 each from Tyrese Hunter and Tristan Enaruna and connecting on nine of their 14 attempted threes.

Their two main scorers this season, Gabe Kalscheur and Brockington contributed zero points in that first half. The Cyclone bench poured in 27 points, outscoring Grambling State’s entire output (25) through the first 20 minutes.

It was more of the same to start the second half, as the Cyclones went up by 28 points early on thanks to continued efficiency from behind the three-point line and forcing five turnovers in the first five minutes of the half.

Iowa State hovered around the 30-point margin for much of the second half, and led by as many as 39.

The Cyclones continued their hot shooting and Grambling State could never find a rhythm on offense.

It was a night to remember for T.J. Otzelberger’s bench, as they contributed 50 points in the game thanks in large part to Kunc and Tre Jackson.

The Cyclones travel to the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn, N.Y., and take on Xavier in their next game.