No. 24 Texas loses 85-75 at No. 14 Iowa State
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Texas can still win the Big 12. But the Longhorns will need to close out their home schedule with a flourish for a chance to do it.
Georges Niang and Monte Morris each scored 24 points as No. 14 Iowa State beat 24th-ranked Texas 85-75 on Saturday night in Jameel McKay’s return from a two-game suspension.
Matt Thomas added 13 for the Cyclones (18-7, 7-5 Big 12), who shot 67 percent in the second half and allowed just one point over the final 2:29 to hold off the Longhorns.
Texas is two games behind conference co-leaders Kansas and West Virginia after losing tough road games to Oklahoma and Iowa State. It’s not over for the Longhorns, though, because they get West Virginia, Baylor, Oklahoma and Kansas in Austin to finish league play.
“I don’t obsess over the standings,” coach Shaka Smart said. “We’re just trying to take care of business every time we take the floor.”
The Cyclones also faltered late in recent losses to West Virginia and Texas Tech. But Morris’ step-back jumper with 1:17 left in this one made it 81-74, and Niang’s layup 35 seconds later sealed the win.
“I just feel like the last couple of games, we really didn’t have the will to win,” Niang said. “We used that motivation. ... We really wanted this win, and when you want it that bad you’re going to pull it out.”
Javan Felix had 13 of his 18 points in the second half to lead Texas (16-9, 7-5), which allowed 48 points in the paint.
“We pride ourselves on playing defense and getting stops. We definitely didn’t do that,” Felix said.
McKay, who had been suspended for violating team rules, finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks — including one with less than 2 minutes left to set up Morris’ key jumper.
“We can’t be special without him,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said of McKay.
Iowa State appeared to be on the verge of pulling away at multiple points early in the second half, most notably when McKay’s alley-oop dunk made it 52-44. But two crucial 3s by Tevin Mack kept the Longhorns close, and Prince Ibeh’s dunk tied it at 56.
McKay’s second alley-oop of the night gave the Cyclones a 73-67 lead with just more than 5 minutes left.
Mack had 18 points off the bench for Texas, and Ibeh added 10 points with seven rebounds.
“We didn’t defend well enough,” Smart said. “They have a way of making you look bad on defense.”
Texas: The Longhorns fell behind by as many as nine early in the first half, but a 12-0 run pulled them to 36-34 by halftime. ... Texas was 11 of 13 from the free throw line.
Iowa State: Morris matched his career high for points. ... The Cyclones started Deonte Burton over McKay, who had opened the first 22 games at center. Burton scored Iowa State’s first six points and finished with 10. ... McKay was the only bench player to score for Iowa State.
“It’s good to see him making some shots,” Smart said of Mack. Iowa State “is a good matchup for him on the offensive end because there’s going to be some opportunities to get open looks and to get out in space, which is what he does well.”
Iowa State won despite an awful night from Abdel Nader, who shot 1 of 8 from the field. He did grab eight rebounds. ... Isaiah Taylor had nine points and eight assists for Texas but hit just three of his 14 field goal tries.
Texas hosts No. 10 West Virginia on Tuesday.
Iowa State plays at No. 21 Baylor on Tuesday.
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