Bad luck does come in threes if you're Iowa State. The No. 8 Cyclones were handed their third straight loss on Saturday, Jan. 18, following an 86-76 defeat to Texas:
Down go the Cyclones! Rick Barnes' Texas squad knocks off No. 8 Iowa State 86-76. ISU has lost three straight after starting 14-0.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 18, 2014
The teams were tied 36-36 at halftime, but the second half was all Longhorns. Texas took a 45-44 lead with 14:55 to go in the game after a layup from Jonathan Holmes and never looked back.
Iowa State got to within four points, 80-76, with 53 seconds left, but that was as close as it would get to retaking the lead late into the game.
Holmes and Javan Felix led the way for the Longhorns. They came into the game as Texas' top two leading scorers, and they didn't disappoint. The former led all scorers, with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds. The latter didn't have an efficient game from the floor, shooting 5-of-17, but he still finished with 17 points and three assists.
Cameron Ridley notched a double-double, scoring 16 points and bringing down 11 rebounds. He also added five blocks.
What also helped Texas pull off the upset was making 24 of 31 free throws. When trying to pull off an upset, you have to make your shots from the charity stripe, and that's exactly what the Longhorns did.
Former head coach Tom Penders liked what he saw from Texas, and thinks that despite the lack of a true point guard, the Longhorns should remain a major threat in the Big 12:
Great home win for Texas over Iowa State. I like this Texas team. They play hard and they run.! Simple as that. No real PG but unselfish.!— Tom Penders (@TomPenders) January 18, 2014
DeAndre Kane likely left Austin thinking he could've done more to help the Cyclones prevail. He's Iowa State's second-leading scorer, yet he shot just 3-of-12 from the field for 15 points. The senior guard was helped by getting to the line 10 times, where he hit eight free throws.
Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim combined to have 25 points, with Ejim getting a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds).
Clones Confidential thought turnovers proved to be the difference in the game:
Your difference: Texas has turned the ball over a ton this season, avg 13.4 a game. They had 8 compared to #Cyclones' season-high of 17.— Clones Confidential (@ISUConfidential) January 18, 2014
It doesn't get much easier for the Cyclones, as they get Kansas State at home but follow up with No. 15 Kansas, No. 25 Oklahoma and No. 9 Oklahoma State in a three-game stretch.
Texas' next game is also against the Wildcats, with No. 12 Baylor and the Jayhawks to immediately follow.