No. 15 Iowa State hosts No. 21 Texas on Saturday afternoon in what’s expected to be another slugfest in Big 12 Conference play in Ames, Iowa.
The Cyclones (13-3, 1-3 Big 12) are coming off a 62-61 defeat at No. 9 Kansas on Tuesday, their third loss in four games. Neither team led by more than nine points in the game, which went back and forth four times over the final 38 seconds before the Cyclones’ Gabe Kalscheur missed a potential winning 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Izaiah Brockington had 17 points to lead Iowa State, with Kalscheur scoring 14 and Tyrese Hunter adding 12 points.
“Kansas started denying a little bit more,” Brockington said, “so we had to run some different things and run through our stuff harder taking that into account, really getting open and getting to the spots we wanted to get to.”
Iowa State led by two points at the half but lost a second-half lead on the road for the second game in a row, following a setback on Jan. 8 in Oklahoma when the Cyclones were up 11 points with 17 minutes left before losing 79-66.
The Cyclones trailed Kansas by nine points with 8:15 to play but never quit, with their defense making the plays that kept them in the game.
“That’s the team we need to be defensively every night,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “I felt like on Saturday, we weren’t our best version of ourselves defensively. (Against Kansas) I thought we were. We were effective pressuring the basketball, and we were physical, tough and we were resilient. You know, we want to win every game — but we’re highly competitive. Really it’s just a credit to the effort our guys played with.”
Texas bounced back from a loss at Oklahoma State with a definitive 66-52 win at home over Oklahoma on Tuesday. Andrew Jones poured in a season-high 22 points and added four steals for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns (13-3, 3-1) also got 10 points each from Christian Bishop, Timmy Allen and Courtney Ramey. Texas, which leads the nation in scoring defense, held the Sooners to 52 points on 40.4 percent shooting from the floor that included 1-of-13 shooting from 3-point range.
“I thought tonight we played with a great assertiveness on both ends,” Texas coach Chris Beard said. “We knew we were going to have to play one of our best games, and I think that’s what we did.”
Texas is 13-0 when holding its opponent below 60 points this season.
The Longhorns only got two minutes of playing time from Tre Mitchell, who missed the loss at Oklahoma State due to COVID-19 protocol. Jase Febres was not available for the Oklahoma game because of a left knee strain. Beard hopes to have both players at full strength Saturday.
“Everything about traveling the road and understanding the circumstances each game is big, regardless of if we’re playing Incarnate Word or Kansas,” Jones said. “We need to bring our identity, let it show and be the most aggressive team.
“We understand what the coach wants, and it just takes time for us to actually click and do it for 40 minutes.”
–Field Level Media