Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones spoil Hunter’s return to Hilton


Tyler Coe

Tamin Lipsey and Former Cyclone Tyrese Hunter battle during an inbound play on Jan. 17, 2023.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

AMES — With everything from an unwelcomed reunion to an absolute battle of a basketball game, No. 12 Iowa State took down No. 7 Texas on Tuesday in Hilton Coliseum.

While there were a lot of things that stood out in the matchup, there were three takeaways that stood out above the rest.

Hunter returns

The moment the Hilton doors opened, the fans began to flood the building, and it was no secret why. Former Cyclone and Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Tyrese Hunter was back in town. Hunter transferred to Texas, and the Iowa State fans took exception.

From thunderous boos to explicit chants, the Hilton crowd was finding any way possible to try to get in the head of Hunter.

Despite the crowd’s disdain toward Hunter, he was looking to score early and often.

Tyrese Hunter sits on the I-State logo during pre-game warmups at the ISU vs. Texas men’s basketball game, Jan. 17. (Jacob Rice)

Hunter picked up 10 points while there was still 12:17 to go in the first half; however, he was held scoreless for the rest of the game.

The Cyclones got the last laugh, going on to win the game and shut down Hunter in the second half.

There were no hard feelings from Otzelberger after the game, as the two shared a moment in the handshake line.

“I told him I appreciated what he did for our program last year, and that I respect him,” Otzelberger said. “Stay healthy and have a good season.”

A turning point

Down 20-11  at the under 12-minute media timeout, nothing was going right for the Cyclones on either end of the floor. The Cyclones used this time to inject some life into what had been a dormant team to that point.

The team began to gel together again, and it showed through some celebrations after crucial buckets.

The rest of the game was all Iowa State, with the Cyclones outsourcing Texas 67-47.

Otzelberger said the turnovers started to swing in favor of Iowa State, which allowed the offense to play more freely.

“The first 10 minutes, they were the aggressor,” Otzelberger said. “That last 30 minutes, how we competed defensively is the club that we are and who we need to be for 40 minutes.”

Compete with anyone

If coming off of a 62-60 loss to No. 2 Kansas in one of toughest environments in college basketball to play in did not show people that the Cyclones can compete with the top teams in the country, they proved it once again on Tuesday.

Win or lose, Iowa State has not quit early this season, with players diving for loose balls till the final whistle.

With the help of Kansas State taking down Kansas, the Cyclones are now tied for the top spot in the Big 12 with a 5-1 conference record.

There is still a long way to go in the season, but a win like this can spark teams to go on to win the conference.

Next up for the Cyclones is a road matchup against Oklahoma State on Saturday.