Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones fail to track down elusive road win

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

With 49 combined fouls and stoppage after stoppage in the second half, No. 11 Iowa State ultimately fell 74-71 to West Virginia on Wednesday.

There were definitely some shining moments for the Cyclones, but now at 2-6 on the road, the struggles outside of Hilton Coliseum continue.

Momentum kills again

The Cyclones have not gotten anything going on the road as of late, and a huge part of this has been due to the massive runs opponents have gone on. 

West Virginia came out and punched the Cyclones in the mouth early, going up 28-13 early in the first half. The Mountaineer crowd got into the game, jolting West Virginia to keep up the strong play.

Despite Iowa State battling back to trail just 36-30 at the half, these runs are something that the Cyclones cannot continue to have as the postseason draws near.

West Virginia was able to grind out this basketball game because of the combination of the lead it built and the crowd keeping the energy.

Lipsey came to play

There were questions surrounding point guard Tamin Lipsey based on his recent contribution to the team’s road struggles, but he turned it around in Morgantown, West Virginia. 

Lipsey fought through foul trouble with four fouls midway through the second half.

While he would only end up playing 25 minutes before fouling out, Lipsey tallied 16 points on 6-8 shooting.

Lipsey has continued to develop throughout his freshman season, with this game showing that he has learned from his mistakes on the road against Texas Tech.

Foul trouble… again

While foul trouble has become a bit of a recurring theme, it affected the Cyclones as much as it has all season Wednesday. 

Lipsey, Robert Jones and Osun Osunniyi each fouled out of the game. With Jones and Osunniyi being the two main rotational post players, head coach T.J. Otzelberger was forced to opt for forward Tre King holding down the middle.

With 30 fouls in the game and 20 in the second half, West Virginia was able to shoot 24-29 from the free throw line.

The Cyclone defense is too strong to allow teams to get these free opportunities to score.

Iowa State drew its fair share of fouls as well, ending 19-24 from the free throw line. The Cyclone playstyle of aggressive defense and inside offense will lead to these high foul totals; however, the team will need to find a way to minimize the free throws allowed.

The Cyclones will return home Saturday, taking on Oklahoma State in Hilton Coliseum. Oklahoma State was one of the teams that took advantage of the Cyclone road struggles, so the team will seek redemption.