It’s a sad day and a bad day. The Cyclones fell to the Mountaineers in a game that went back and forth. Gabe Kalscheur showed out on Senior Night with 26 points, and five made three-pointers. However, the former Hawkeye spoiled the night, as Joe Toussaint contributed 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 three-pointers off the bench.
Iowa State shot 46.2% as a team from the floor, yet couldn’t find ways to win down the stretch. In the first half, the offense was just running through the motions and Kalscheur was the only thing going well.
In the second half, both Jaren Holmes and Tre King helped out. Holmes ended with 16 points and King finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds. The low post-up with King was really working for a couple of possessions. Robert Jones also had himself a solid game with 6 points 5 rebounds, and an assist in 21 minutes of action. His ability to switch onto guards and stay in front is a big positive for this team.
Now for the negatives of the game. Caleb Grill once again dealt with back problems in just 19 minutes on the court. He went 0-2 from the field and picked up a technical foul. The spacing with Lipsey on the floor continues to be a major problem. Especially during nights like these when he goes 1-5 from the field. Yes, the playmaking and rebounding he brings to the table are a major positive, but this team’s floor spacing is so important.
One of the main takeaways from the game was how West Virginia could swing the ball quickly against the “blitzing” defense and find open shots. It seems most teams have found out this is a great way to find shots against Iowa State. It also needs to be mentioned when the technical foul fest happened in the second half the Clones were up 52-46. Yes, Tre Mitchell was ejected and it seemed Iowa State could get the edge. But, that long timeout to sort everything out must have done something to the team, because West Virginia took the reins and never let go. (I will not mention how the pep band was consistently playing under two minutes in a one-possession game and how it sucked out what energy was left in the building.)