A blowout win over one of the Big 12's biggest brand names was just what Iowa State needed Saturday after a heartbreaking loss mid-week. And it's just what the Cyclones delivered. ISU pummeled Texas, 82-62, in front of a sold out crowd at Hilton Coliseum.
The 20-point victory over the Longhorns improved Iowa State to 11-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play with another home game - against West Virginia - coming up Wednesday night. Texas is now 8-8 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12, but the Horns first two league losses were both in overtime. Not Saturday at Hilton.
About the only thing Iowa State didn't do was satisfy the blood lust of the capacity crowd with a first half knockout. The Cyclones had Texas on the ropes midway through the first half but were not able to finish off the visitors until a six-point flurry on back-to-back three-pointers proved to be the haymaker that floored UT with about six minutes to play.
Texas, which had been giving up around 60 points a game this year with solid defense and a methodical style, controlled the tempo early and it was a 4-4 game three minutes in. But Iowa State started hitting threes and getting the pace more to its liking. The Cyclones had a 17-13 lead at the under-12 media timeout.
An 8-0 run including back-to-back three-pointers by Tyrus McGee gave ISU a 27-15 lead and forced a Texas timeout with 9:03 to go before halftime. But Texas refused to let the Cyclones separate and got back within five at 30-25 at the 5:04 mark of the half. Iowa State responded and got the lead to 13 at 42-29 on a Will Clyburn jumper with about a minute and a half to go before intermission. It was 42-31 Cyclones at halftime.
Again, Texas closed the gap. Iowa State's margin shrunk to five points at 49-44 with 14:43 left to go in the game. It was a six-point game with 11 1/2 to play and it was a seven-point game with 7:23 to play. That was when the Cyclones finally hit with a game-winning surge.
A Longhorn turnover was converted into a Clyburn three with 6:30 to play to extend Iowa State's lead to ten at 68-58. Another turnover by the same Texas player - Julien Lewis - led to a trey from Chris Babb and ISU's lead quickly swelled to 13 points at 71-58 with 5:57 to go. Texas got no closer than 11 the rest of the way and Georges Niang gave the home crowd the exclamation point play it wanted with an uncontested dunk that put the Cyclones on top by fifteen, 77-62, with just over four minutes to play.
Niang was Iowa State's top scorer with 18 points, leading four Cyclones in double figures. Clyburn scored 16 points, McGee 15 and Korie Lucious 10. Lucious had nine assists to just three turnovers to lead a clean overall floor game for the Cyclones. ISU finished with 18 assists as a team compared to just five turnovers.
The teams battled to a 37-37 draw on the boards. Melvin Ejim's 10 rebounds led Iowa State. The Cyclones shot 43.9 percent from the field, including 42.3 percent from three-point range (11-of-26). ISU was 21-of-27 at the free throw line (77.8%). Texas shot 39 percent from the floor, 22 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the line.