Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The eighth-ranked Iowa State Cyclones set out to end a two-game skid, as they take on the Texas Longhorns in Big 12 action at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Cyclones opened the season with 14 straight wins, including a 2-0 start in league play. However, the team has fallen to .500 in the Big 12 with back-to- back losses at Oklahoma (87-82) and at home to Kansas (77-70).
The Longhorns have also split their four conference games thus far. Texas enters this matchup at 13-4 overall and has won two straight, topping Texas Tech (67-64) and most recently, West Virginia (80-69).
Texas holds a 16-10 series advantage over Iowa State and is an impressive 10-1 against the Cyclones in Austin.
Tied at the half with Kansas (36-36), Iowa State went cold from the floor over the final 20 minutes (.243, 9-of-37) and dropped their first game at home this year. The loss spoiled a strong performance by DeAndre Kane, who finished with 21 points and eight rebounds. Dustin Hogue also flirted with a double-double, posting 13 points and nine boards. Melvin Ejim poured in 15 points and Georges Niang added 11 for the Cyclones, who were dominated on the glass, getting outrebounded 53-36, but did force Kansas into a whopping 24 turnovers.
One of the nation's most dangerous offensive squads, Iowa State came into the week in the top 10 in scoring and is hovering around that mark heading into the weekend at an impressive 85.6 ppg. Four of the team's five starters are averaging double figures. Ejim paces the team with 17.8 ppg. Kane has really helped take ISSU to the next level with his versatile play. The 6-foot-4 guard pours in 16.8 ppg and is also a key contributor as a rebounder (7.3 rpg) and passer (team-high 5.9 apg). Niang (15.1 ppg) and Hogue (12.4 ppg) add to the scoring depth up front, with Hogue ranking second in the conference in rebounding (9.3 rpg).
The Longhorns used a sizzling .527 shooting performance in Morgantown to jump all over the Mountaineers early and keep West Virginia at arm's length the rest of the way in evening up their Big 12 record. Javan Felix led the way offensively with 19 points in the win. Center Cameron Ridley recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He was almost joined by Jonathan Holmes (nine points, 12 rebounds). Isaiah Taylor and Martez Walker chipped in 10 point a piece in the resounding win.
Texas is a strong offensive team in its own right. The Longhorns are shooting a modest .447 from the floor, but it has led to an impressive 77.9 ppg. Rebounding has been a big factor in the squad's success, as Texas currently boasts of a +8.1 rebounding margin. Like Iowa State, four of Texas' five starters averaging double figures. Holmes leads the charge with 12.5 ppg. Felix is next in line at 11.6 ppg, followed by Taylor and Ridley with 11.2 and 10.6 ppg, respectively.