Cyclones take a break from Big 12 play to take on Missouri


Tyler Coe

Tamin Lipsey scores a layup against Texas on Jan. 17, 2023.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

Amidst a heated Big 12 battle, with the Cyclones fighting for the top spot, the SEC/Big 12 Challenge comes as a bit of a changeup.

Fans of Big 12 teams will now come together, as the teams will match up with an opponent from the SEC, hoping their conference proves it is the best.

For Iowa State, this cross-conference matchup comes against Missouri on Saturday.

Although this game comes as a break from conference play for the Cyclones, it is certainly not a break. Missouri enters the game with a 15-5 record, picking up major wins over Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and more.

Head coach T.J. Otzelberger said that despite this game coming as a bit of a breakup from Big 12 play, he trusts the decision makers to do what is best for the conference.

“There’s people in our league that make decisions in the best interest in our league,” Otzelberger said. “What I can control is to prepare our team to have the best opportunity to win the game on Saturday.”

The Tigers are a high scoring unit, averaging 83.4 points per game this season, coming as a clash of play styles compared to the defensive-minded Cyclones.

It is not just one player getting it done for Missouri, as the team has five players averaging 10 or more per game. Kobe Brown is leading the charge at 15.8 points per game on 43.6% shooting from beyond the arc.

In order to prevent Missouri from getting comfortable, Otzelberger is pushing for the Cyclones to force the Tigers to play at their pace.

“They can score points in a hurry,” Otzelberger said. “They’re at their best in transition.”

Point guard Tamin Lipsey is pushing for the team to just treat this game like it is a Big 12 game, and take care of business. If the Cyclones can carry over the focus from Big 12 play, there are not many teams that can consistently beat them.

“We’re just going to go into it like it is a Big 12 game that we’re trying to win,” Lipsey said.

The game is set to tip off at 1 p.m. Saturday in Missouri, and can be viewed on ESPN 2.