Iowa State focuses on battling for full 40 minutes


Tyler Coe

Gabe Kalscheur attempts a layup against TCU on Feb. 15, 2023.

Hailey Dohnal, Assistant Sports Editor

After yet another road loss, Iowa State men’s basketball will continue road play as they take on former teammate, Tyrese Hunter, once again. 

In their second-to-last road game of the season, the Cyclones will travel to Austin, Texas, to take on the Longhorns for the second time. 

“Our guys are excited to finish the challenge on the road,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. 

In their first matchup against the Longhorns, Cyclone fans were eager to see Hunter play after he transferred to Texas following a successful freshman season at Iowa State. 

Nonetheless, the Cyclones took the win at Hilton Coliseum in a 78-67 score on Jan. 17. 

Additionally, as of Monday afternoon, the new AP Top-25 Poll dropped Iowa State four spots, from No. 19 to No. 23. Texas dropped two spots and are now ranked No. 8. 

Something Iowa State has struggled with, particularly on road games, is losing the large lead that typically develops in the first half. In their most recent loss against Kansas State, the Cyclones were up.

“Our guys have had great intent to start the game…we’re really trying to emphasize that focus after halftime,” Otzelberger said. 

Otzelberger said there are different factors that go into the energy and effort from the first to second half, but overall, staying mentally tough is the most important. 

“Maybe we’re a little more tired or maybe something happened, but at the same time, we just need to focus on winning that next possession, what’s in front of us,” Otzelberger said. 

Along with staying focused throughout the whole game, Otzelberger and the Cyclones have struggled with “unnecessary” fouls. However, Otzelberger said their ultimate goal is to continue being the aggressor and to stay disciplined. 

“We’re just trying to stay together,” Osun Osunniyi said. “We’re not trying to look in the past–one game at a time.” 

Osunniyi said while Texas brings a fast-paced team filled with great players, the Cyclones will look to be a disruptive team and stick to their daily habits. 

“They [Texas] have a lot of depth,” Jaren Holmes said. “We want to make it very difficult and make it very uncomfortable for them throughout the entire game.” 

After missing Saturday’s game, Otzelberger gave an update about the status of Caleb Grill and the injury to his back. Otzelberger said Grill practiced Monday, but they will continue to take it one day at a time. 

“All our focus is on this game tomorrow night, and our guys are going to come out with great intent to do the job and get the win,” Otzelberger said.  

The Cyclones will tip off against the Longhorns at 8 p.m., and the game will be on the Longhorn Network.