‘It’s disappointing’: Cyclones cannot jumpstart offense against Oklahoma


Tyler Coe

Gabe Kalscheur shoots a three against Oklahoma on Feb. 25, 2023.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

AMES — An early Cyclone lead melted away as Oklahoma handed Iowa State a 61-50 loss Saturday.

Trailing 28-23 at the halftime break, things were not going the Sooners’ way. Oklahoma got the spark it needed in the second half, coming out of the break with a 19-4 surge to go up 42-32 on the Cyclones.

Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser discussed why the Cyclones cause team problems early, mentioning the high intensity takes time to settle into.

“It’s like the Polar Plunge in Chicago,” Moser said. “You get shocked right at first.”

Once the Sooners built up their lead, the Cyclones could not find a way to make a run to get back into the game.

The second half was one to forget for the Cyclones, scoring 22 points on 7-26 shooting, despite turning the ball over just three times.

Both Tamin Lipsey and head coach T.J Otzelberger said the shots that are normally falling for the Cyclones just were not going in. While these struggles damage the offense, Otzelberger felt it transitioned to the defense as well.

“We can’t let our offensive disappointment affect how we defend,” Otzelberger said.

Iowa State has now lost seven of its last nine games, struggling through the back-half of Big 12 play.

With just three games remaining, and only one of them coming at home, time is running out in the regular season.

“It’s disappointing,” Gabe Kalscheur said. “Losing here the second to last game is tough, I don’t want it to be like that.”

The Sooners competed at a high level in large part thanks to the strong play from brothers Jacob and Tanner Groves.

Jacob shot lights out from the field, going 6-8 shooting, including 4-5 from beyond the arc. Nearly every time the Sooners were in need of a spark, Jacob found a way to deliver.

Tanner did a lot more of the dirty work down low, collecting 13 rebounds to go along with nine points and three blocks.

“Our ball pressure is great when we feel better about our offense,” Otzelberger said. “Guys get a little bit tentative when their shot’s not going.”

The one area the Cyclones did the trick was in the matchup against Grant Sherfield.

Sherfield leads the Sooners in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game. This has been a much different story for Sherfield when facing the Cyclones this season.

Robert Jones battles down low with Oklahoma’s Jacob Groves on Feb. 25, 2023. (Tyler Coe)

In Iowa State’s 63-60 win over Oklahoma Jan. 4, Sherfield posted just four points on 1-7 shooting.

The Cyclone guards were once again firing on all cylinders Saturday, holding Sherfield to just a pair of points coming from the free throw line in the first half.

Sherfield ended with just 10 points on 2-9 shooting, and provided one of the bright spots for the Cyclones in the loss.

The final home game for the Cyclones will take place at 8 p.m. Monday, taking on West Virginia.