Hilton Magic brings energy to Cyclones’ win over Texas


Jacob Rice

Fans celebrate a two-pointer at the ISU vs. Texas men’s basketball game, Jan. 17.

AMES — The spring semester began Tuesday but students seemed a little more focused on something else other than their academics: the Iowa State men’s basketball game.

With students camping out outside Hilton Coliseum nearly all day, former Cyclone Tyrese Hunter and the Texas Longhorns did not know what awaited them in what would end up being a 78-67 Cyclone win.

As the doors to Hilton opened about 90 minutes before tip-off, students sprinted to their seats, put on their white t-shirts to prepare for the white-out theme and began booing Hunter any time he stepped onto the floor.

When Hunter missed his first basket of the game, the crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow. Anything Hunter did “wrong,” the Hilton Magic loved it.

Nonetheless, that didn’t stop Hunter from scoring ten points in the first half.

“That was unreal,” Jaren Holmes said about the Hilton crowd. “It almost felt like an NBA playoff game.”

While the fans had a lot to say about Hunter’s return to Ames, the Cyclones were focused on getting a comeback win after their loss to the Kansas Jayhawks Saturday afternoon.

From the beginning, it was a physical game against the Longhorns with both teams doing whatever they could to get the ball in their possession.

The Cyclones won the tip-off and Gabe Kalscheur immediately drove to the basket to get the first points on the board. Texas then fired back, also putting two points on the board.

However, Iowa State struggled to get things rolling consistently. Baskets were going in but not as quickly as the Longhorns were. With eight minutes left in the first half, the Cyclones trailed by nine.

“The first 10 minutes, they were the aggressor,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

Nonetheless, Iowa State began to find its groove after back-to-back threes by Kalscheur and Caleb Grill. Additionally, a jumper and a layup by Holmes got the Cyclones that much closer to a lead.

“As we started to turn them over and pressure them more, obviously the game and the offense came around our way,” Otzelberger said.

Otzelberger said that the way in which they turned the game around for that last 30 minutes was the team that Iowa State needs to continue to be.

Shortly after, Kalscheur hit another three to tie the game at 31. At the half, the Cyclones led by one, 36-35 and had three turnovers compared to the Longhorns’ eight. Furthermore, four Cyclones had at least one steal with freshman Tamin Lipsey at three.

“There’s not a player that works harder than Gabe Kalscheur,” Otzelberger said. “Gabe is playing to the level of what he’s earning.”

Iowa State came out hot in the second half forcing a turnover on Texas the second they grabbed the ball.

Holmes and Osun Osunniyi then shot back-to-back baskets to bring the Hilton Magic back to life. Quickly after came a “fire up the Grill” moment after Grill hit a three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer.

At the first media timeout in the second half, the Cyclones led 47-41. Once again, however, the fast-paced Longhorns came back to tie after going on a 6-0 run.

“We did a great job of staying together,” Kalscheur said.

Osun Ossuniyi attempts a layup against Texas on Jan. 17, 2023. (Tyler Coe)

After that run came to a three-minute scoring drought as Iowa State took the lead and ran with it.

With six minutes remaining, the Cyclones were on a 7-0 run and led Texas by nine and continued to grow.

Four Cyclones were in double digits and all worked together to grab the win. Holmes at 21 with Grill at 17 and Kalscheur at 16. Osunniyi had 11 and also led the team in rebounds with seven.

Not to forget about Lipsey however who had six assists.

“I don’t look at the numbers as much when it comes to Tamin,” Otzelberger said. “He’s a winner, he finds a way to do what his team needs to do to make them win.”

The final score in Ames was 78-67 and Iowa State grabbed the Big 12 win they were looking for.

“Gotta keep pushing,” Holmes said.

So, maybe it was worth it to skip class for the Cyclones.