Confidence issues surface for Hawkeyes in loss to ISU

Chad Leistikow

"You've got to get them believing again," McCaffery said. "Because they clearly had some doubt tonight."

In the first home game of the season with a big-time feel, Iowa looked helpless in Friday's 90-75 loss to No. 14-ranked Iowa State before 15,400 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa State scored on 10 consecutive possessions at one point and broke open a tie ballgame, at 33-33, into a 24-point lead, 59-35, with 14 minutes, 40 seconds left in the game.

The Cyclones (7-1) were the SUV barreling down the interstate, and the Hawkeyes were the deer in the bright headlights.

"We got tentative. We turned the ball over," Iowa's Aaron White said. "We kind of let them direct the pace and the direction of the game."

What went away?

"Our energy level," White said. "Our aggressiveness."

Iowa State was missing two of its top players — suspended-for-one-game guard Bryce Dejean-Jones and big-man transfer Jameel McKay, who gains eligibility Dec. 20. If a short-handed Iowa State team can manhandle the Hawkeyes like this, what does that mean for the Big Ten Conference season?

This was Iowa's most lopsided home loss since Ohio State won here 76-47 on Jan. 7, 2012.

"It's just disappointing, because I know we're better than that," White said. "It's just frustrating and unacceptable, to be honest."