Iowa State men’s basketball struggles in turnovers and fouls in 74-56 loss to Milwaukee

Iowa State senior Jeff Beverly is fouled while looking to make a move in the lane during the Cyclone’s 74-56 loss to Milwaukee.

Brian Mozey

Prior to the Milwaukee and Iowa State game tonight, the spread on ESPN favored Iowa State by 13.5 points. After a 74-59 loss at Missouri on Friday night, the Cyclones were back at Hilton Coliseum.

Their home.

After an early lead by Iowa State, it became apparent that the 13.5-point spread should’ve been favoring Milwaukee. The Panthers finished the game on top with a 74-56 final score, an 18-point win.

A Milwaukee team that finished dead last in the Horizon League last season and finished the 2016-17 season with an 11-24 record overall and a 4-14 record in the league.

It was the first time since 1997 that Iowa State dropped its home opener.

“Obviously we got to get a lot better,” said coach Steve Prohm. “We know it’s going to be a process of getting better… but we’ve been here, we’ve been in these situations. We’ve got a lot to work on.”

Two of the biggest areas are turnovers and personal fouls.

Prior to the season, Prohm spoke at media day and said this team had to be more physical than previous seasons. Tonight, Iowa State showed its physicality, but a little too much.

The Cyclones finished the first half with 13 personal fouls and five of their eight eligible players on Monday had two fouls going into the half. That pattern stayed the same in the second half.

Iowa State tacked on another 11 personal fouls, making a total of 24 personal fouls, equaling Milwaukee’s total. None of the Cyclones fouled out, but Lindell Wigginton, Solomon Young and Jeff Beverly ended up with four fouls each.

Prohm had to change his five players on the floor constantly, which left Iowa State out of rhythm most of the night.

“It’s tough,” Beverly said on the foul trouble Iowa State faced tonight. “We’ve gotta play smart. Keep playing smart without fouling.”

Along with fouling, Iowa State gave up the ball 18 times during the game, which resulted in 19 points off turnovers for Milwaukee. The Cyclones gave up 13 turnovers against Missouri on Friday night resulting in 11 points off turnovers.

Prohm wants to improve that number because the turnovers didn’t allow Iowa State to play its game. Instead, the Cyclones played Milwaukee’s game, which resulted in the loss tonight.

“As a team we set a goal of 10 or less turnovers tonight,” said redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr. “We came out with 18. We gotta take care of the ball because that’s just possessions being given away.”

Besides the turnovers and personal fouls, Prohm liked how the team shared the ball. There were many passes between Iowa State players tonight, which allowed the team to find open looks, but they weren’t able to put the ball in the hoop.

Iowa State went 3-for-15 from the 3-point line and 16-for-42 in total field goals. That’s 20 percent from behind the arc and 38.1 percent for total field goals.

The Cyclones field goal percentage was cut in half from the first half, 50 percent, to the second, 25 percent.

Prohm isn’t worried quite yet though.

“You’re going to go through tough moments in seasons,” Prohm said. “This is one of those tough moments and hopefully we have the character to continue to grow and get better.”

Iowa State is going to have to grow quickly because the team heads east to South Carolina tomorrow for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off that starts on Thursday.

Prohm said the team is going to look at film the next couple of days and prepare for an Appalachian State team to start the weekend of basketball for the Cyclones.

“We need to be the toughest, nastiest, most competitive team in the country this year,” Prohm said. “That’s what we need to be.”