AMES, Iowa (AP)Izaiah Brockington’s four-point play with 1:52 left propelled No. 11 Iowa State past No. 25 Texas Tech 51-47 in a defensive struggle Wednesday night.
Brockington’s fall-away 3-pointer came moments after Texas Tech took a 42-40 lead. The Cyclones guard was knocked off balance, but his clutch shot swished through.
The resulting foul gave Brockington a chance for a four-point play, and his free throw gave Iowa State a 44-42 advantage.
Brockington led the Cyclones (13-1, 1-1 Big 12) with 14 points and nine rebounds. Aljaz Kunc added 13 points.
”I’d say they turned it into a rock fight,” Brockington said. ”We’ve seen them have games like that before. We’ve seen how they like to pressure, how they like to make teams uncomfortable and rush.”
Davion Warren paced the Red Raiders (10-3, 0-1) with 12 points.
Texas Tech was reduced to just five scholarship players due to health and safety protocols. The Red Raiders were also dealing with injuries to their top two scorers, Terrence Shannon Jr. (14.3 points per game) and Kevin McCullar (13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds).
”Coming into this game we knew we were going to have to play extremely hard and match their toughness. I thought we did that,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. ”Our goal was to just try to keep the game close and be in it at the end. We were able to do that.”
The Cyclones took control early with an 11-0 run.
Caleb Grill hit consecutive 3s to give Iowa State a 15-4 lead. Tech went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring.
The Cyclones made just one of nine shots during a first-half stretch, but still owned a 30-19 advantage at the break thanks to a late 3 by Kunc.
The offensive struggles continued after halftime. Iowa State went 7:24 without scoring, helping Tech close the margin to 30-26.
Grill ended the drought with two free throws.
”Offense is not our identity – defense is,” Kunc said. ”When shots don’t fall and we can’t get into our plays and we can’t score a bucket, it’s what we do on the defensive end of the floor.”
Iowa State’s first basket of the second half came when Gabe Kalscheur hit a reverse layup with 10:21 left, making it 34-26.
The Cyclones hit just one of their first 16 shots after halftime.
”We’ve got to do better playing at our pace on offense,” Brockington said, ”but that’s a good team. That’s a great defense.”
After winning only two games last season, Iowa State has already beaten three ranked teams, including then-No. 25 Xavier and No. 9 Memphis. Texas Tech had won the past five meetings with the Cyclones.
Texas Tech continues a rugged league stretch with a home game Saturday against No. 6 Kansas followed by a trip to No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 11.
Iowa State plays its first Big 12 road game Saturday at Oklahoma.
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