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Three Thoughts: Cyclones Blown Away Against Iowa


NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Hawkeyes dominate Cyclones in Cy-Hawk game

The No. 20 Iowa State men’s basketball team traveled down to Iowa City Thursday night to take on the Hawkeyes in the CyHawk series. Luck was not in the favor of the Cyclones as they fell to the Hawkeyes 75-56.

Iowa’s Filip Rebrecca led all scorers with 22 points while shooting 9/11 from the field. Gabe Kalscheur led the Cyclones with 12 points off the bench.

Iowa played Thursday’s matchup without leading scorer Kris Murray due to a foot injury. Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery won his 500th career game Thursday night as well.

Here are my three takeaways:

Slow Start

The hot shooting from the Hawkeyes didn’t help the fact that the Cyclones offense was quite stagnant per usual. The Hawkeyes pulled out to an early 15-0 lead by the 14:32 mark.

The Cyclones weren’t playing with that “off the jump” intensity they usually do. They looked unaggressive on offense and tired on defense. The Cyclones can not have such a lack of enthusiasm in a first half like that again if they want to survive in Big 12 play.

Early foul trouble didn’t help either for the Cyclones squad. Center Osun Osunniyi went into halftime with 3 personal fouls.

The Cyclones managed to cut the bleeding and ended the half trailing 20-40, as crazy as that sounds. The Cyclones couldn’t buy a bucket at any crucial possession of the game. Tonight they ended the game shooting a brutal 13.6% from three.

Iowa’s Lights Out Night

4 out of 5 starters for the Hawkeyes scored in double digits on the night while shooting 52.2% from three as a team. This team looked more than prepared for the Cyclones without their leading scorer Kris Murray.

They exploited Iowa State off almost every trap in the post, good ball movement and everyone ready to let it fly. After the hot shooting start from Iowa, they were able to just ride out the rest of the half living at the free throw line after getting in the double bonus.

Iowa’s dominant first half performance put the Cyclones out of reach early while also continuing the strong shooting in the second half.

Cyclones first true road test

It was safe to say Iowa State’s first road game of the season came in one of the most hostile environments on their schedule. Iowa State looked shook from the get go and the Hawkeyes thrived off it. The Cyclones overall lack of intensity is what shot them in the foot early and they never recovered from it.

If Iowa State’s weakness this year is playing on the road, then they can kiss their tournament hopes goodbye. There are too many good, hungry teams this year in college basketball and a lack of passion, enthusiasm and intensity will be any team’s kryptonite if not brought every night.

The Cyclones next real test is on New Year’s eve against No. 12 Baylor. They have plenty of time between now and then to regain their identity and save face from a rather embarrassing night in Iowa City.

Iowa State’s next contest is against McNeese Cowboys on Sunday, December 11 on ESPN+ at 5:00 PM CT.