"We need to play with a chip on our shoulder. A nastiness to prove people wrong and a toughness about us, that we have so much resilience about us that we're going to fight through this. That's what we need to be about," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.
Asked how far away the Cyclones are from being that kind of team, Prohm said "a good way."
Brett Prahl scored 14 points and Bryce Nze added 13 for the Panthers (2-0), who were picked to finish eighth in the 10-team Horizon League.
But the Cyclones made Milwaukee look like the Big 12 team in Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State fell behind 39-32 by halftime in part because it committed 11 turnovers in just 20 minutes. The Panthers pushed their lead to double digits on an Nze layup that made it 52-41 with 12:05 to go.
Any notion of a comeback from the Cyclones (0-2), who have just one returning starter in Solomon Young, was done in by some dreadful shooting in the second half.
Iowa State went just 5 of 20 from the field and 0 for 8 from 3-point range after the break, and Milwaukee pushed its lead to 64-49 with just under five minutes to go.
Jeff Beverly and Nick Weiler-Babb each had 11 points to lead the Cyclones, who finished with 18 turnovers. They also shot just 3 of 15 from 3-point range and were outrebounded 31-29.
"Eighteen turnovers is not acceptable. It's just not," said Iowa State's Zoran Talley, who had eight points and nine rebounds.
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa State: If there was any doubt that this might be a tough year in Ames, Monday night's performance erased it. The Cyclones lost four starters after reaching their sixth straight NCAA Tournament, and it'll take some time for this overhauled team to find some cohesiveness. Iowa State looked lost for much evening, more so on offense than defense.
Milwaukee: The Cyclones aren't nearly as good as they've been in years past. Still, beating a Big 12 team on the road is a big deal for a Horizon League team with a new coach in Pat Baldwin.
Senior point guard Donovan Jackson emerged as a valued 3-point shooting threat off the bench a year ago. But so far he has struggled in a bigger role. Jackson, who had just six points in a season-opening loss to Missouri, scored four points while turning it over four times. Freshman Lindell Wigginton also had his issues on Monday, going just 1 of 6 from the field while scoring eight points.
The Panthers were 24 of 50 from the field and 19 of 28 from the line. ...It could have been worse for Iowa State had it not shot 21 of 28 on free throws. ...Weiler-Babb cracked double figures for the second straight game. But he also had five turnovers. ...The Cyclones had just five assists.
HE SAID IT
"We've got to demand more from everybody," Prohm said.
Iowa State plays Appalachian State on Thursday in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which was moved to South Carolina.