Stagnant offense spoils Senior Night in Cyclones’ blowout loss


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

George Conditt sits on the floor of Hilton Coliseum after the Cyclones’ loss to Oklahoma State on March 2.

James Powell

AMES— They say old habits die hard.

T.J. Otzelberger was hoping his team’s habitually sub-par offense and record-low performances had bitten the dust when the Cyclones’ four-game winning streak began on Feb. 15.

Little did he know, those habits were just taking a power nap.

Iowa State fell to Oklahoma State by a score of 53-36 in their last game of the season in Hilton Coliseum and pen-ultimate game of the regular season.

The 36 points scored is the lowest output for the Cyclones since Jan. 20, 1958, when they also scored 36 at Colorado. Home games for Iowa State were still played at The Armory on campus, and the Big 12 was the Big Seven.

It’s the second time the Cyclones have set a Hilton Coliseum record for fewest points scored in a game this season, the other coming on Jan. 22 when they scored 44 against TCU.

Otzelberger seemed less than thrilled about the performance, and said his team, despite the winning streak, isn’t in any place to come in and expect to win.

“We’re not a good enough team to just show up and think that teams are just going to let us get the victory,” Otzelberger said. “Certainly, a disappointing effort, out of character for our guys for how they play lately.”

“Credit to [Oklahoma State], they came in here and physically they really wanted to win; and their spirit was a lot better than ours, and that’s very humbling to admit.”

Looking up and down the stat sheet, there wasn’t really an individual night shooting that is pleasing to the eye.

Izaiah Brockington shot 5-17. Tyrese Hunter shot 5-15. Aljaz Kunc shot 1-9. The player with the highest shooting percentage? Robert Jones, who made two of his three shots and had the third-most points on his team with four.

As a team, they shot 28 percent from the field and made just two of their 17 attempts from deep. For good measure, they also shot 40 percent (4-10) from the free throw line.

Their most impressive stat of the night was forcing 22 Cowboy turnovers. Even with that, they only scored six points off those 22 turnovers.

Otzelberger has often preached about that being a large part of their offense, and he thinks that certainly played a part in the struggle.

“To me, we’ve got to make aggressive defensive decisions to try to score in transition and I felt like tonight, even when we did turn them over, our push and our pace wasn’t as good,” Otzelberger said after detailing the discrepancy in points off turnovers.

“We looked a step slow. We looked not as energetic, not as enthusiastic for whatever reason,” Otzelberger added.

What made this dormant showing on offense that much more alarming is that it came on the heels of some of the best offense the Cyclones have played all season, particularly in their last two games at Hilton Coliseum against West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Add onto that the fact that Iowa State doesn’t have a lot of time to turn things around before losing a game could mean ending your season, and things get treacherous.

They travel to take on No. 3 Baylor Saturday before the Big 12 and the (assumed) NCAA tournament appearances take center stage.

As for where the team goes from here with a select few number of games remaining, Brockington believes it will take some work on themselves as well as how the team operates on the offensive end of the floor.

“Continue to work on ourselves, individually,” Brockington said when asked what the plan going forward is. “Then just figuring out what shots are right for us… how we’re going to get through different defenses while running our sets and not letting defenses dictate us.”