Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones lose on the road for seventh time


Tyler Coe

Jaren Holmes attacks the hoop against TCU on Feb. 15, 2023.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

Kansas State took advantage of the physicality permitted, winning 61-55 in a defensive battle against the Cyclones Saturday.

Caleb Grill’s absence contributed to a lack of shooting prowess, and the Wildcat fans had some contribution of their own as Iowa State dropped another road contest.

Here are the three takeaways from Cyclones’ the loss to No. 12 Kansas State.

Heated first half

Things got chippy between the two teams in the first half, as Aljaž Kunc hunted an offensive rebound inside and drew a flagrant foul after taking a big hit.

Jaren Holmes and David N’guessan began to jaw back and forth, each picking up a technical on the play.

Both of the teams embrace this scrappy style of play, thriving in games that are won with hustle plays.

In this game it happened to be the Wildcats taking advantage, winning the mental battle in the face of adversity.

Grill still battling injury

As has been the case for much of Big 12 play, Caleb Grill was still battling a back injury Saturday. Grill missed the game against Kansas State, after playing just 12 minutes on Wednesday because of it.

Without Grill’s shooting, the Cyclone offense struggled shooting the deep ball, going 5-25 from beyond the arc.

The usually hot-shooting duo of Kunc and Gabe Kalscheur were not able to fill the void left by Grill, combining to go just 5-19 from distance.

Kunc and Kalscheur led the team in scoring with 15 and 11 points, but the rest of the team failed to get much going on offense.

Holmes shot just 2-16 from the field, picking up just five points on the game. Holmes is the leading scorer for the Cyclones this season, averaging over 13 points per game, and he has been one of the keys to the success of Iowa State this year.

Opposing atmosphere too powerful once again

Sitting at 2-6 on the season in road games, the Cyclones entered the game with a lot to prove. Away environments have had the tendency to rattle the team all year long.

The Cyclones have had tendencies of allowing ball pressure to rattle the team and coughing up leads.

Iowa State once again fell victim to these, losing an eight-point halftime lead in the loss.

The environment of Hilton Coliseum may have made the difference the first time the two teams faced off, with the Cyclones squeaking away with an 80-76 win.

The Cyclones will remain on the road, taking on Texas at 8 p.m. Tuesday for a chance to sweep the Longhorns.