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Three Big Takeaways: Lipsey locks in, Cyclones corral Longhorns

Joseph Dicklin
Tamin Lipsey celebrates a jump shot three during the Iowa State vs. Kansas match on Jan. 27, 2024 in Hilton Coliseum.

It was not pretty, but when the Cyclones needed to lock in, they did just that as they traveled to Texas and picked up their first road win against the Longhorns since 2015 by a score of 70-65.

The Texas atmosphere played favorites late in the matchup, as Iowa State nearly let up another comeback. However, it was the late efforts of Tamin Lipsey that helped fend off Texas and give the Cyclones a much-needed win to end their Texas road trip.

Perfect start from newcomers fuels hot opening

The Cyclones came out as the aggressors early in the matchup, as Milan Momcilovic drilled a three to open the game.

Shortly after, Momcilovic hit another shot and handed the reins to Keshon Gilbert. Gilbert then went off for the next four points.

After hitting a pair of shots, Gilbert handed the baton to Curtis Jones, who secured the next five points. In just a matter of minutes, Iowa State had Texas on its heels.

Three players who had a rough start to Big 12 play each started their nights perfect and built a 14-4 lead going into Texas’ first timeout of the game.

Although the game would not play out this smoothly for the entire 40 minutes, the big lead kept building and was good enough for Iowa State to hang on to for the full game.

Finding creative ways to score

With how gritty and aggressive Texas played, buckets were not easy to come by.

Many shots that the Cyclones put up fell short, and wide-open looks were rare. With how airtight Texas was on defense, the Cyclones had to get creative in the way they extended the lead.

Sloppy plays came nearly every possession, so it was the paint presence by a handful of Iowa State bigs that kept the Cyclones on top. It started from a missed Lipsey layup, which led to Robert Jones flying into the lane and slamming one home.

Shortly after, Hason Ward made up for a shot that fell short by hitting a floater after rebounding the ball.

With shots not falling as easily as they did in the game’s opening minutes, Gilbert and Lipsey did their best to feed the paint. Later in the game, Gilbert found Robert Jones in the lane for an easy layup and found Demarion Watson on the next possession for a dunk.

With Texas storming back, the second-chance buckets were the main reason Iowa State stayed in the game.

By the end of the game, Iowa State had 16 points off of second-chance buckets. Not only that, but the Cyclones had 16 offensive rebounds to Texas’ 11.

Lipsey cuts another near-comeback short

The second half was not as smooth sailing as the first.

Texas attempted to avoid embarrassment in front of a home crowd and did everything in its power to chip its way back into the game. The Longhorns were riding momentum gained from the charity stripe to slowly cut down Iowa State’s lead.

With over 22 minutes gone in the game, the Cyclones headed to the free-throw line for the first time of the night. Texas head coach Rodney Terry was called for a technical foul shortly after.

The overflow of free throws helped Iowa State maintain a healthy lead. However, the refs would not continue being nice to the Cyclones.

With the game still as chippy as ever, the Cyclones had to fight for every point. With 10 minutes left, Texas was storming back.

Whenever Iowa State hit a shot, Texas would hit one right away on the other end. The Cyclone that kept Texas at bay throughout the runs was Lipsey.

Lipsey started finding his way to the rim and fed the lanes to keep the game close. However, Texas was not slowing down.

With less than seven minutes to play, Texas was on an 18-8 run. When Iowa State got the ball on the other end, Lipsey knocked down a timely 3-pointer to push Iowa State’s lead back over 10.

Texas did not let up.

Iowa State was desperately looking for the time to run out as Texas continued hitting miracle shot after miracle shot. With Texas cutting the lead smaller and smaller, it was Lipsey’s long offensive rebounds that kept the clock moving.

With less than three minutes left in the game, Texas was on an 8-0 run and cut the lead to one possession.

On the other end of the court, it was Lipsey who put up another deep shot at the end of the shot clock to kick Iowa State’s lead back up.

With time running out, Texas again cut the lead to three. A missed layup from Tre King gave the Longhorns life.

However, one possession later, Lipsey bounced the ball into the lane to King, who slammed the ball through the basket. With 15 seconds left in the game, Iowa State was up by two possessions and a win was imminent.

Lipsey’s heroics in the game’s waning minutes helped Iowa State fend off Texas on the road and snap its eight-game losing streak in the road matchup.

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