Iowa men’s basketball falls to Iowa State in Cy-Hawk rivalry game

The Cyclones built off an early lead and held on to improve to 9-0 on the season. The Hawkeyes have now lost three straight games.

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Dimia Burrell

Iowa forward Keegan Murray looks to defend the basket during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and No. 17 Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on Thursday Dec. 9, 2021. (Dimia Burrell/The Daily Iowan)

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter


AMES — For the first time in four years, the Iowa men’s basketball team fell to Iowa State. The Cyclones managed to dominate all aspects of the game in what was a comfortable 73-53 win over Iowa on Thursday.

Once the Cyclones took an 18-17 lead midway through the first half, they never looked back. 

Iowa initially managed to keep it close against the Cyclones with Jordan Bohannon and Patrick McCaffery knocking down early threes to settle down the team. Down the stretch in the first half, Iowa State’s defense took over. The Hawkeyes went on a 1-of-12 shooting stretch, which caused the Hawkeyes to fall to a 12-point deficit going into the half. 

Things did not get much better in the second half. 

Iowa State continued to dominate the glass and forced Iowa into some bad looks. Iowa shot just 25.7 percent from the floor in the half and just 27 percent all game, its lowest mark of the season. The Hawkeyes were continually pressed and had no answers on offense.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t contain former Penn State player Izaiah Brockington, who led all teams in scoring with 29 points on only 14 shots. Brockington made a huge impact on both sides of the ball, and was a big reason why Iowa’s Keegan Murray didn’t get any clear looks on offense. 

“I just went out there and tried to be physical and tried to get him away from the spots that he likes to work,” Brockington said. “He’s a good player, and he’s still going to get some, but I just had to keep him from dominating.”

Big Picture

After starting the season 7-0, Iowa has lost its last three games and is now 7-3 on the season. It is also its first loss to Iowa State in its last four meetings. 

Murray held in first trip to Ames

Murray has been the nation’s leading scorers so far this season, averaging 23.9 ppg. Against the Cyclones, Murray was held in check for most of the contest. Murray scored his first basket of the game five minutes intro the second half after being held by an aggressive Iowa State defense. The Cyclones consistently swarmed Murray and gave him no open looks. 

“They were just being aggressive, every time I caught it there was someone on me,” Murray said. “There were a lot of shots I should have made in.”

Murray scored some garbage time points and finished with nine points, seven rebounds and five forced turnovers. 

Cyclones dominate the boards

After struggling mightily on the boards against Illinois and one of the nation’s most feared big men in Kofi Cockburn, Iowa had a much more favorable matchup against Iowa State. With no one over 6-foot-9 in the Cyclones lineup, Iowa matched up well to their size. Iowa State however managed to dominate the glass and outrebounded Iowa by 18. The Cyclones also managed to get 21 offensive rebounds and converted 19 second chance points to Iowa’s 10. 

“I think they were quicker to the ball, because it’s not like they’re five men rebounded better than our five men,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “They just did a much better job of getting to the basketball than we did.”

Up Next

Iowa has a nine-day break to recover and reset before hitting the road again to South Dakota to play Utah State. 

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