Cyclones drop heartbreaker to No. 2 Kansas on final shot


Jacob Rice

Tamin Lipsey moves the ball up the court at the ISU vs. Kansas game on January 14.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

LAWRENCE, Kansas — There was not one of the 16,300 seats to spare in Allen Fieldhouse, as Iowa State suffered a heartbreaking 62-60 loss to No. 2 Kansas.

The intensity of the game was similar to that of the crowd, with both teams applying heavy ball pressure all game long.

Kansas went on an early 12-0 run to make the score 12-5, but this served as a wake-up call for the experienced Cyclones.

Kalscheur was shooting the lights out with 23 points on 7-16 shooting; however, Iowa State was not able to get the ball into his hands on the final possession, forcing Caleb Grill to take a contested three-pointer at the buzzer. Grill went on to miss the shot as the crowd roared in celebration.

“Credit to them. They were able to make one more play in a really good game,” head coach T.J.  Otzelberger said.

It was not the shot they were looking for, but that was a credit to the way Kansas was guarding Kalscheur and Grill in the final minutes. Otzelberger said Lipsey was unable to find a hole for a drive, and no one found a window for an open three-point attempt.

“Make a read on the ball screen, see if we can’t get downhill,” Otzelberger said. “Their defensive intent was really good, especially good on that last possession.”

Gradey Dick of Kansas was simply in control of the game, causing problems for the Cyclones all game long on both ends. Dick tallied 21 points on an efficient 7-13, and also caused problems for the Iowa State guards with his defensive intensity.

“Limit his attempts, and if you can’t limit them you want to make them highly contested,” Otzelberger said. “Based on their ability to space the floor and move the basketball, it’s easier said than done.”

The first half showcased truly how smooth the Iowa State offense can be when Osun Osunniyi is on the court. He put up 6 points and a handful of rebounds in the half; however, his impact was immeasurable.

Caleb Grill attempts contested three with game on the line in 62-60 loss to Kansas on Jan. 14. (Tyler Coe)

Each time Osunniyi entered into the game, Kansas was forced to pay a lot more respect to him defensively, allowing players such as Kalscheur and Holmes to find windows.

Dealing with a leg injury from Tuesday’s game against Texas Tech, and fouling out with 1:03 to play in the game, the Cyclones only had their anchor for 19 minutes.

Osunniyi said it is unfortunate that he is dealing with injuries in games like these, but also said he may never be 100% healthy with how physical the Big 12 is.

The Cyclones not only did not shoot well from the field, but had one of their worst of the season, shooting just 23-60 (38%) as a team.

The reason Iowa State was able to battle with Kansas was due to strong defense per usual, and by giving themselves second opportunities to score.

Iowa State snagged 13 offensive rebounds, allowing the team to put up 12 more shots than Kansas.

“It’s something we take pride in,” Otzelberger said. “At the end of the day, it was a really good college basketball game.”