Three Big Takeaways: Ugly start allows Hawkeyes to walk away with Cy-Hawk win


Owen Aanestad

Tony Perkins throws down dunk on Caleb Grill during Cy-Hawk game on Dec. 8.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It is safe to say that things did not go the way T.J. Otzelberger and Iowa State men’s basketball had hoped Thursday, as the Cyclones fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes 75-56.

Iowa started the game off on a 15-0 run, and while the teams played nearly even afterward, the Cyclones were unable to put any dent into the Hawkeye lead, despite Iowa’s top scorer, Kris Murray’s absence.

Here are the three big takeaways from Iowa’s CyHawk win over the Cyclones.

First half disaster

Iowa got out to a 15-0 lead before Lipsey finally scored a floater six minutes into the game. In this span, the Cyclones struggled to shoot, starting 0-7, could not get many solid shots up and turned the ball over a pair of times.

The Hawkeyes continued to take advantage of both the on-court momentum and the electricity the crowd was providing. With 5:36 left to play in the first half, Iowa’s lead stood at 34-12. 

The climb back into the game would take near perfection on the court, which is not how they played.

The Cyclones limped into the half with a 40-20 deficit. Frustration was only building. Iowa State shot 10-31, including 0-11 from beyond the arc.

The first-half disaster caused the Cyclones to feel as if they had to do something different to bring the game back, and Robert Jones said the team was just not able to find the jolt they needed.

“I feel like it was unexpected,” Jones said. “We were all really locked in, ready to go.”

Uncharacteristic defense

The Iowa State defense entered the game, allowing less than 50 points per game, and this was largely due to not allowing opponents to take easy shots.

This was a whole different story for Iowa State Thursday, as the Hawkeyes were either taking wide-open three-pointers or easy layups inside.

Iowa shot a miraculous 12-23 from three, knocking down the open looks that came their way. It was not just one player that was lighting it up for the Hawkeyes as five different players hit multiple three-pointers.

Otzelberger talked ahead of the game about how the ball movement of Iowa could pose problems for the Cyclones, which provided some foreshadowing for how the game would proceed.

“They did a great job moving the basketball,” Otzelberger said. “Credit to them; they played well.”

Inside the paint, most of the damage was done by Filip Rebraca, who scored 22 points on 9-11 shooting. Rebraca was drawing fouls and just causing chaos for the Cyclone bigs.

No Murray, no problem

A couple of hours before tip-off, it was announced that Iowa’s leading scorer and versatile defender Murray would miss the game due to a lower-body injury.

Robert Jones shoots the ball during the 2022 CyHawk men’s basketball game. Dec. 8, 2022. (Jacob Rice)

Murray averaged 19.4 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game coming into Thursday.

Murray’s absence made no difference, as the Hawkeyes were able to put up one of their best shooting performances of the season.

The next game for the Cyclones is Sunday against McNeese.