Iowa State improves to 3-0, defeating UW-Milwaukee at home

AMES-Iowa State has made another strong start this season on the non-conference list. On Sunday, the Cyclones looked to continue that by hosting the UW-Milwaukee Panthers under first-year head coach Bart Lundy, and the home team did just that.

The State of Iowa was ready, committed and active early on. The Cyclones forced five turnovers in the first two minutes of the game, one of which was highlighted by a one-handed slam from standout big man Osun Osunniyi in the finish.

Jaren Holmes scored a three for the hosts Cyclones to give the ISU an 11-4 lead at the first media timeout.

Osunniyi continued to find low-level success, and the biggest ovations early in the Hilton came from Caleb Grill and Jaz Kunc, who were presented multiple times in groups of three. Grill smiled after rattling on the tight defense in his shot and giggled his way down the pitch.

A little over halfway through the first half, the Panthers began to fight their way back into contention. Milwaukee was just five minutes behind with five minutes left before Holmes calmed the offense with a nice middle-class jumper.

Hason Ward has put together one of the best plays of the season so far for Iowa State. The transfer striker hit Demarion Watson’s back door and although Watson missed on lay-in, Ward drove over two defenders to score the slam dunk.

Real freshman point guard Tamin Lipsey faked and kicked Holmes in the corner to knock down a three, putting him on 15 points for the half. Iowa State led 37-26 at the break in Ames.

Iowa State shot well from deep, shooting 43% from distance in the first half, while Milwaukee shot 36% overall from field.

Lipsey got things rolling for Iowa State in the second half with a strong drive to the left and a reverse finish and the foul. The Cyclones only allowed two points in the first four minutes of the third.

Kunc also wowed the crowd early in the second half with his first career dunk as an Iowa State player. Watson remained consistent with his impressive level of energy, attacking the glass and finishing with a putback to extend the Cyclones’ lead to 21, 49-28.

Up until this point in the game, senior leader Gabe Kalscheur had only played about six minutes into the game. Iowa State still held a commanding lead but missed their first eight long-range tries to start the frame.

Caleb Grill threw it on the fastbreak to reignite the crowd and end an offensive lull for the Cyclones while maintaining a 20-point lead. However, the home defense continued to thrive as the Panthers had 22 turnovers and had over eight minutes to play.

Offensive rebounds were another strong point for the ISU, who had amassed 15 of them with just over five minutes remaining on average. Turnovers and hitting the glass proved important for the Cyclones to score, even when shots weren’t coming from deep.

However, Milwaukee would not give up. Keon Edwards hit a triple from a turnover from Iowa State, and then Markeith Browning finished a strong layup in traffic from another turnover to reach just 14. TJ Otzelberger immediately called for a timeout for the Cyclones with 4:50 on the clock.

Holmes calmed the offense again and hit a short rabbit to bring the Cyclones’ lead back to 13. ISU capped things off with an alley-oop reverse slam against Grill, and the Cyclones improved to 3-0 in the young season with a 68-53 win.

Jaren Holmes led all scorers with 19 points to help the ISU’s pace.