Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State tops No. 5 Kansas State in defensive fight


Owen Aanestad

Conrad Hawley celebrates with his teammates during a timeout against K-State on Jan. 24.

AMES — The No. 12 Iowa State Cyclones battled against the No. 5 Kansas State Wildcats in a sold out Hilton Coliseum crowd Tuesday night.

Prior to the game, head coach T.J. Otzelberger was unsure whether or not starting guard Caleb Grill would be on the court or join the two other injured Cyclones on the bench after a back injury flared up Saturday against Oklahoma State.

However, Grill appeared in the starting line up ready to compete along with the rest of the Cyclones.

“He [Grill] brought a lot to the table,” Gabe Kalscheur said.

From fouls to turnovers to high scoring points, here are the three big takeaways from the Cyclones 80-76 win over the Wildcats.

Foul trouble

From the moment the ball tipped, there were immediate fouls from both sides of the court. Within the first minute, the Wildcats were given two fouls with the Cyclones having one.

Kansas State grabbed the first bucket of the night but a foul by Iowa State’s Kalscheur at the free throw line where he made one of two shots.

Freshman Tamin Lipsey put in the first two point basket for Iowa State after an assist from teammate Osun Osunniyi.

With fouls coming quickly, it took a few minutes for the Cyclones to get into their groove. However, even with the Wildcats hot on their trail, they continued to keep up.

Iowa State went on a 9-0 run midway through the first half after Kansas State went nearly five minutes without scoring.

Additionally, the fouls seemed to subside until the end of the first half when both teams were in the bonus with seven fouls. Both teams grabbed one more before the half ended.

In the second half, fouls again came fast but were affecting the Cyclones more than the Wildcats.

Lipsey and Roberts Jones had three fouls midway through the second half. Iowa State also had seven fouls compared to Kansas State’s three. Those fouls put the Wildcats into bonus with 13 minutes still remaining.

“We definitely had that commitment to the paint,” Otzelberger said.

With four minutes remaining, Iowa State was given the double bonus making free throws extra critical. Fortunately for the Cyclones, their free throws stayed consistent as they shot 76% at the line.

Tight defense

Along with the team’s offensive success, each side of the court brought a fast paced defense.

Both teams had seven turnovers in the first half. However, the Cyclones were able to grab 12 points off of those turnovers with the Wildcats grabbing seven.

Rebounding, specifically defensively, was also a large aspect to the aggressiveness on the court. Compared to Iowa State’s four offensive rebounds, they had 15 total rebounds.

Those rebounds extended to 28 for Iowa State and 20 for Kansas State.

Other than the three point percentage, neither team seemed to have much of a difference when it came to the scoring stats. Where the Wildcats were shooting 33%, the Cyclones had shot just 11%.

T.J. Otzelberger calls out a play from the sideline against K-State on Jan. 24, 2023. (Owen Aanestad)

Fortunately for Iowa State, that three point percentage went up to 31% but was at 56% for the Wildcats.

In the second half, the Cyclones defense put the Wildcats on another five minute scoring drought as they made zero of four attempted field goals.

The Cyclones shot 57% from the field and Kansas State had 52%.

“It was our guys being so connected and making plays for one another,” Otzelberger said. “So as much as there is a scheme and tactical part of it, there’s also like a human being part of it.”

A night for Lipsey

At the beginning of the season, Kalscheur was not in the starting lineup after being replaced by Lipsey. Additionally, it seemed to take the freshman, Lipsey, a few games to get points on the board.

Lipsey is typically seen helping his teammates put points on the board as he leads the team in assists. However, the night was about Lipsey and scoring points.

“He’s unbelievable…it’s amazing what he’s doing as a freshman,” Otzelberger said.

Kalscheur led the team in points in the first half (12) with Lipsey at six. However, Lipsey came out strong at the beginning of the second half, putting up back-to-back baskets and putting him at ten points.

Additionally, two other Cyclones finished with double digits.

Holmes also came out spicy, scoring 18 points in the second half and finishing with 23. Holmes led the team in assists with seven. Osunniyi had 16 points.

“I think overall, it’s just me being grateful to be here,” Holmes said. “Not everyone gets to wake up and do what I do, which is play basketball for a great university.”

Although Lipsey did not reach his season-high of 12 points, he finished with ten. It seemed that everywhere the ball was, you could find him. Kalscheur ended the night with 19 points and Lipsey led the team in rebounds (6).

“They’re all going to be dog fights,” Otzelberger said about the games they will continue to face.

The Cyclones will continue their season as they will travel to take on the Missouri Tigers Saturday afternoon.