Three Big Takeaways: Discipline costs the Cyclones on senior night


Tyler Coe

Gabe Kalscheur walks off the floor after playing his final game in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 27, 2023.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

AMES — Through physicality during and after the whistle, West Virginia prevailed over Iowa State with a 72-69 win Monday.

It was senior night for the Cyclones, and eight players saw what could be their final game come and go, losing an emotional battle to the Mountaineers.

“Extremely disappointing for sure,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “There’s a big difference between effort and having discipline and competitive endurance to find a way to win.”

Stevenson vs. Kalscheur

Gabe Kalscheur and Erik Stevenson found themselves in an early-game duel, battling it out in pursuit of the early lead.

The score was 9-7 in favor of West Virginia, and Stevenson and Kalscheur were still the only players to have scored.

Kalscheur bounced right back with a free throw and a three-pointer to boost his total to 11 but picked up a third foul soon after. Kalscheur was forced to sit out the remainder of the first half.

While Stevenson did not get caught in foul trouble, he did cool off a bit, finishing the half with 11 points on 4-11 shooting.

Neither player stepped down from the challenge in the second half.

Stevenson went on to finish the game with 23 points on 8-17 shooting. Kalscheur scored a game-high 26 on 8-15 shooting.

Sparks fly

The momentum was on Iowa State’s side throughout the second half, which was even more true just before the midway point in the second half.

Battling down low defensively, Aljaž Kunc took an elbow to the head, resulting in

Aljaž Kunc gets assisted off the floor against West Virginia on Feb. 27, 2023. (Tyler Coe)

a short brawl breaking out. Some words and a handful of shoves were exchanged before the officials could break things up.
West Virginia’s Tre Mitchell was ejected, and a handful of technicals were dispersed. Kunc missed a pair of free throws and West Virginia turned it into a pair of free throws and a three-pointer.

In a matter of seconds, a six-point Iowa State lead had melted to just one.

West Virginia took this ounce of life it was provided and used it to take the game out of the hands of Iowa State.

Otzelberger said the team needs to be more disciplined in the frustrating moments of the game.

“It is really costly when their player throws an elbow at us, and it turns into essentially a five-point play for them,” Otzelberger said. “Our reaction to that play put us at a deficit.”

Toussaint’s return to Hilton Coliseum

After three years as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Joe Toussaint transferred to West Virginia. Toussaint is no stranger to Hilton Coliseum, making his third appearance in the building.

“It’s always nice to play here,” Toussaint said. “Obviously, I was at Iowa and, you know, we had that rivalry.”

Toussaint showed out in the return to Ames, posting 11 points on 4-4 shooting in the first half alone.

Toussaint backed up the first half with an eight-point second half, all of which came from the free throw line.

The 19 bench points Toussaint provided were enough to eclipse Iowa State’s 13 by itself.

The final game of Iowa State’s regular season will come Saturday, as the team will hit the road to take on Baylor.