Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones fumble away game in overtime thriller


Jacob Rice

Caleb Grill shoots for three at the ISU vs. Kansas game on January 14.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

What was once a 23-point lead for the Cyclones quickly melted away in an 80-77 overtime loss to Texas Tech.

With a stellar first half performance from Caleb Grill, it seemed as if the game was in-hand; however, things changed quickly in the second half.

Here are the three big takeaways from the thrilling comeback.

Massive comeback

With a 39-22 halftime lead, Texas Tech had no choice but to throw some different looks at the Cyclones. From the full-court press to trapping in the halfcourt, applying extra pressure did the trick.

The Cyclones had no answer for the Red Raider defense, turning the ball over 13 times in the second half. This was compared to just four turnovers in the first half.

On the other end, Texas Tech was getting inside and drawing fouls with ease. The Red Raiders shot 26-37 on free throws during the game, coming as an important scoring option when shots were not falling.

With Iowa State going minutes at a time without even attempting a field goal, Texas Tech trimmed the lead all the way to two with under a minute to play.

When winning time came around, the Cyclones could not find a way to score.

Things to clean up

Losing three out of their last four games played to teams that many would consider worse than the Cyclones, there are a few things the Cyclones have to clean up.

The team has gotten careless with the basketball recently, plaguing the offense at times. In addition to this, a defense that has been near perfect at times has had its share of struggles. The Cyclones have both fouled often and allowed open shots from distance.

Whether it is complacency due to the strong start to conference play or just a short struggle period, there is no time to waste in Big 12 play.

With the next game coming against top-10 Kansas, any flaws with the team will become even more apparent.

Grill dazzles in return

Grill had been battling a back injury over the past couple of weeks, but he made his return to the court on Monday.

After a loss to Missouri, the Iowa State offense was just not flowing as well with Grill out of the lineup. Upon his return, the Cyclones were back in the groove at times offensively, in large part thanks to Grill.

Grill shot the lights out in the first half, scoring 15 points on 5-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

There was no slowing down for Grill in the second half, starting 3-3 from distance to finish the game with 24 points on 8-12 shooting.

Next up for the Cyclones is a chance at redemption against No. 8 Kansas. The game is set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in Hilton Coliseum, and it will stream on ESPN.