The Big 12 might not be the best conference in the nation, but it sure is difficult picking out an obvious winner from it. Maybe Iowa State beating Texas 89-86 helps a little in figuring out who are the team to be in the conference.
The Cyclones lost an 11-point half time lead (and 21 points at its biggest) to make things a lot more complicated than they should have been but managed to pull through thanks to some excellent shooting all game long and managing to survive Texas’ dominance under the boards, which included 17 offensive rebounds. However, the Longhorns’ defense not living up to its usual standards which included giving up 22 points in the paint alone during the second half was too much for them to overcome. Iowa State finished with 38 points in the paint.
Georges Niang led the Cyclones with 19 points, including going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He led a group of five players scoring in double figures, getting 18 points from Bryce Dejean-Jones and 14 off the bench by Jameel McKay, Overall Iowa State shot 54.7% from the field and 42.9% from beyond the arc. Until this game, Texas allowed more than 70 points against them just once this season (74 to Stanford). Even Kentucky were held to just 63 back in December.
I feel like just seeing the ‘W’ on the board is something that helps put the loss to Texas Tech behind us. That being said, we have yet to put a 40-minute game together. I loved our energy out of the gate. Down the stretch, that was crazy. An absolutely crazy game.
For Iowa State it was their highest scoring game since Big 12 play began, improving to 5-2, moving them to second place (shared) in the conference behind the one loss Kansas, the only team among six ranked teams in the Big 12 to be voted into the top 10. Iowa State will probably move up unless they’re stunned by TCU at home over the weekend, while Texas at #19 before the game also have to play at Baylor, hoping this isn’t the beginning of a slippery slope, so far struggling to show dominance in the Big 12, going 3-4.