Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones get first loss at home



Tyler Coe

Gabe Kalscheur walks off the floor after the Cyclones suffer their first loss of the year in Hilton Coliseum against OSU on Feb. 11, 2023.



AMES — After their sixth road loss of the season, No. 11 Iowa State returned to the place where they had yet to lose; Hilton Coliseum.

The 16-7 Cyclones tipped off against the 15-9 Oklahoma State Cowboys for the second time this season. Iowa State’s first matchup with Oklahoma State resulted in a 61-59 loss on Jan. 21.

Unfortunately for the Cyclones, their second match up with the Cowboys ended in a loss too.

The Cowboys, coming off of a four game win streak, came out determined and did not fail to keep the game close.

Here are three big takeaways from the Cyclones 64-56 loss.

Forcing turnovers

One of Iowa State’s biggest goals throughout the season has been being the “aggressor” and continuing to be a defense based team.

That aggressiveness was seen specifically in the first half where the Cyclones forced 10 turnovers on the Cowboys compared to Iowa State’s three. The Cyclones also had six steals.

“I think our problems started far sooner than down the stretch,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

While the Cowboy’s grabbed the tip-off and a three-point basket to start off the night, the Cyclones followed with a Gabe Kalscheur three-pointer from a Jaren Holmes assist.

A few plays later, Holmes went to the free throw line following an Oklahoma State foul where he made one of two baskets.

Three minutes into the game came another three-pointer from Kalscheur after a steal. That basket was also assisted by Holmes.

However, while shooting started off fairly consistent, Iowa State’s shooting percentage deteriorated toward the end of the first half.

“I felt like today our mental toughness wasn’t very good,” Otzelberger said.

As the first half came to a close, the Cyclones were shooting 35% from field goal range, 33% from three-point range and 57% from the free throw line. Because the Cowboys were shooting about the same, Iowa State led 32-26 at the half.

“The emotions of the game were high,” Tamin Lipsey said. “I feel like as a team we’re gonna come back and bounce back from that and not let the emotions get the best of us.”

Aside from shooting, both teams had 18 rebounds in the first half and finished with 34.

Foul trouble once again

After 30 fouls against West Virginia and 19 fouls against Kansas, the Cyclones have struggled in the fouling realm.

However, both the Cyclones and Cowboys went into the bonus in the first half with Iowa State reaching the seven foul mark first with many of the calls on Iowa State not being agreed on by Cyclone fans.

Part of the continuous fouling was the aggressiveness that both teams brought to the court. From minute one, it was a war between the two teams as they fought for the ball, fell to the floor and even grabbed a bloody nose here and there.

“I felt like we were always worried about what wasn’t going our way offensively,” Otzelberger said. “That was out of character for us.”

Aljaz Kunc got two shots at the free throw line after a flagrant was called on Oklahoma State. Kunc was 3-4 overall at the line.

“We weren’t ourselves defensively tonight and that made it hard for us to crawl back into the came once they got a little lead” Lipsey said.

Tamin Lipsey attacks the hoop against Oklahoma State on Feb. 11, 2023. (Tyler Coe)

With a fresh team foul start going into the second half, Holmes came out with a three-pointer to keep the Cyclones lead they had at halftime.

But with just three minutes into the second half, Iowa State already had three fouls. With 10 minutes remaining, both teams were back in the bonus and later into double bonus.

Caleb Grill fouled out with 1:50 remaining in the game. Holmes also fouled out with 25 seconds left. Tre King and Kunc had three fouls.

“We were shaken,” Otzelberger said about Grill fouling out.

Back at home

In his third game back from a finger injury, Kunc led the team in points with 13. Lipsey was right behind with 12 points.

Iowa State will have a few days off before returning back to Hilton and having a chance to bounce back.

“We’ve got to be better…we’re gonna get that right,” Otzelberger said.

The Cyclones will take on the TCU Horned Frogs, currently ranked No. 17, on Wednesday.