‘We’ve gotta be who we can be’: Cyclones struggle to grab CyHawk win


Jacob Rice

Head coach T.J. Otzelberger speaks with Tamin Lipsey and Caleb Grill before going on the court at the 2022 CyHawk men’s basketball game. Dec. 8, 2022.

IOWA CITY, IA — The 2022-23 season is the 17th year of the annual Iowa Corn CyHawk series between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Cyclones grabbed the bragging rights last season after a 73-53 win over the Hawkeyes at Hilton Coliseum.

So, as the Cyclones traveled to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, they looked to grab another win against their in-state rival. However, the odds were not in Iowa State’s favor Thursday night.

The Cyclones fell to the Hawks 75-56.

“First time on the road for our group, and it seemed like it got to us,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

With many road games ahead, Otzelberger said the team needs to not get caught up in the environment, which he feels was a large effect in Thursday’s game.

Although the Hawkeyes were without their star player, Kris Murray, who was injured in the Hawk’s loss to Duke Tuesday, it did not stop them from going on a 10-0 run against the Cyclones in just the first minutes.

“I feel like just the start was slow,” Robert Jones said.

When the runs are coming, Jones said defense is the number one way to stop it.

“We’re a defensive rebounding team,” Jones said. “We look to defend; we look to be physical; we look to be dominant on the boards.”

Osun Osunniyi took the first shot of the night, and while he was able to get the rebound, it did not result in a basket. After that, it was downhill for the Cyclones. While shots were going in easily for the Hawkeyes, the Cyclones were given nothing.

“I feel like it was unexpected,” Jones said about the Cyclones’ performance. “We were all really locked in and ready to go.”

After what seemed like the longest six minutes, freshman Tamin Lipsey put up the first two points for Iowa State. However, the Hawkeyes continued to score, giving an 18-point lead halfway through the first half.

“We just came out flat,” Lipsey said. “We gave them a lot of good looks.”

Tamin Lipsey looks for a teammate to pass the ball to during the 2022 CyHawk men’s basketball game. Dec. 8, 2022. (Jacob Rice)

Lipsey said he didn’t want to make excuses but that it just wasn’t the Cyclones’ night.

Even when the ball came into the Cyclone’s hands, the results were either a missed basket or a turnover. The Hawkeyes had 13 points from turnovers in the first half.

Hasan Ward put up the next two points for the Cyclones but was followed by a foul on Osunniyi as the Hawkeyes led 24-4.

“We were a step behind on everything,” Otzelberger said.

The Cyclones were then able to get some points going but as the first half came to a close, the Hawkeyes led 40-20.

Aside from the points struggle, fouls also gave Iowa a large-point advantage. The Cyclones had 11 fouls in the first half putting the Hawks in double bonus and giving them more chances at the free throw line.

While baskets were going in more consistently for the Cyclones in the second half, the heat from the Hawkeyes continued.

The Cyclones had yet to make a three-point basket as they were 0-12. Five minutes into the second half came to the first three-pointer, done by Gabe Kalscheur.

It seemed as though each time the Cyclones came close to getting things going, the Hawkeyes stayed ahead with momentum.

Lipsey led the team in points (11) and Robert Jones had nine rebounds. Lipsey also led the team in assists with three.

“We’ve gotta be who we can be, and that’s gonna be a physical, tough defense team and that’s not who we were out there tonight,” Otzelberger said.

The Cyclones will return to their comfort zone to take on McNeese State at 5 p.m. Sunday.