Cyclones streak to 13th straight
LUBBOCK, Texas – Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg knows how tough it is to quell a momentum shift and he was glad his 13th-ranked Cyclones succeeded in stemming Texas Tech’s in a 73-62 victory Saturday.
“I will say one of the hardest things to do in sports is to stop a momentum run and we found a way to do it and reverse it and finish out the game,” Hoiberg said. “We allowed them an opportunity to get in the game. Texas Tech turned into the aggressive team that we had controlled for the first 20 minutes.”
Georges Niang scored 17 points and Melvin Ejim added 16 to lead Iowa State, which extended its winning streak to a school record-tying 13 games.
DeAndre Kane had 15 points for the Cyclones (13-0, 1-0) in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
The win was the second in Lubbock for Iowa State in the past eight games.
Jaye Crockett had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Dusty Hannahs added 16 points to lead Texas Tech (8-6, 0-1).
The Cyclones came into the game averaging just over nine 3-pointers but managed only five against the Red Raiders. Texas Tech held Iowa State 15 points below its average.
Texas Tech tied the Cyclones at 50 on a 3-pointer by Crockett at 12:33 of the second half but the Red Raiders never took a lead.
Niang was 7 of 16 from the field and matched teammate Dustin Hogue with seven rebounds to lead the Cyclones.
Texas Tech outrebounded Iowa State, which came into the game second in the conference in rebounds (42.2), finishing with a 34-31 advantage. The Cyclones had 13 second-chance points to nine for the Red Raiders.
Hannahs saw small mistakes that took their toll.
“We feel like we can play with anybody, but just little errors is the fine line between winning and you can’t make the mistakes,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot better at toning down our mistakes and turnovers but we’ve still got room for improvement.”
The Cyclones’ shooting waned in the second half and the Red Raiders opened the second half on a 14-4 run, including a 3-pointer and a dunk by Jordan Tolbert and two 3s by Hannahs, to whittle the lead to 46-40. The Cyclones made just two of their first 10 shots from the field in the second half.
Hoiberg saw his team become flustered.
“We let some things bother us tonight we had not been doing,” he said. “We missed a couple of easy ones and I thought our body language changed a little bit but we found a way and I give my bench a lot of credit to get those guys to get back in it and find a way to finish.”
Crockett scored on consecutive possessions – an underhand scoop on a drive down the middle of the lane and a 3-pointer – to tie the game at 50 and cap a 21-6 run in the first 8 minutes of the second half.
With just under 12 minutes left in the game the Cyclones were shooting about 17 percent, about a third as well as they shot in the first half.
Iowa State used a 10-2 run to go up 60-52 with about 7 minutes left. Monte Morris got a layup and a free throw, Ejim hit a 3-pointer, and Long and Niang both scored.
Hoiberg lauded Morris, who came off the bench and played 24 minutes, as the player that helped the Cyclones stem Texas Tech’s effort.
“He was huge,” he said. “He was definitely the spark that got that thing going back in our favor. He made a couple of big plays at the end of shot clocks and had a big three-point play, I think, that gave us a three-point lead after they tied it at 50. He plays beyond his years.”
But Texas Tech didn’t wilt. The Cyclones just started hitting shots, except from the free throw line, where they missed 5 of 13 down the stretch.
Iowa State closed the first half on a 15-5 run to lead 44-29. The Cyclones got six steals and got 12 points off the Red Raiders’ eight turnovers. Iowa State missed just one of 13 free throws and shot about 52 percent from the field.