Iowa State pulls away from Texas in Top-25 matchup
Ames, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Melvin Ejim had 25 points and eight rebounds to help 17th-ranked Iowa State come away with an 85-76 victory over No. 19 Texas in a key Big 12 showdown from Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones (20-5, 8-5 Big 12) also received big efforts from DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang in avenging a 10-point loss to the Longhorns in Austin on Jan. 18. Kane tallied 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists, with Niang chipping in 20 points and five helpers.
"It's obviously important that your key guys are playing well for you," said Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg. "Even though those guys all scored over 20, I think it was a total team effort."
Texas (20-6, 9-4) came in having won nine of its last 10 games and received 26 points and eight assists from Isaiah Taylor, but shot just 32.9 percent from the field compared to Iowa State's 49.2 percent success rate.
Javan Felix added 16 points for the Longhorns despite a 6-of-22 shooting display, while Jonathan Holmes had 14 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
Texas put together a 15-5 run to overcome a 10-point deficit early in the second half and forge a 48-48 tie with 14 minutes left, and it was a one- point game midway through the final frame before the Cyclones took over.
Matt Thomas and Ejim hit back-to-back 3-pointers during a 9-3 surge that staked Iowa State to a 65-58 lead. A Felix jumper brought Texas within 70-65 with seven minutes left, but the Longhorns didn't record another basket until the contest's final minute as the Cyclones slowly pulled away.
Kane drove the lane and scored on the ensuing possession, igniting an 11-2 run that coincided with Texas' shooting woes. His two free throws with 2:53 to go had Iowa State up comfortably at 81-67.
"When we tied it at 48 in the second half, we weren't smart enough [afterward]," Longhorns head coach Rick Barnes remarked.
Both teams had difficulty making buckets early on, but the Cyclones got their high-powered offense heated up over the final 10 minutes of the first half.
Iowa State reeled off five straight points to take a 21-15 lead with 8:38 remaining in the period, then later closed out the stanza with a 6-0 run to go up 36-27 at the break.
Ejim led the way by racking up 14 first-half points on 6-of-7 shooting, and the Cyclones held Texas to a 27 percent success rate from the floor for the opening frame.
The Longhorns fared better during the initial stages of the second half. Felix knocked down threes on consecutive possessions to cut the margin to 48-44 with 15:09 left, with Taylor knotting the score on a steal and layup just over a minute later.
The Cyclones improved to 13-1 at Hilton Coliseum this season and have now won 10 of their last 12 matchups against ranked teams in Ames ... Felix, who had gone 10-of-18 from 3-point range while averaging 22.5 points in Texas' last two outings, made just 4-of-15 attempts from beyond the arc ... Iowa State is 16-1 on the campaign when outshooting the opposition ... Texas finished 23- of-25 from the foul line.