Iowa State held on for a 79-70 win against the Texas Longhorns on a cold night in Ames. Deonte Burton and Monte Morris scored 27 and 21 points, respectively, for the Cyclones. Kerwin Roach led Shaka Smart’s team with 21 points and five assists in the loss.
The Texas Longhorns were sloppy in the first half, turning the ball over 12 times, compared with only two by Iowa State. Many of the turnovers were careless (Jacob Young randomly winging the ball into the back court was perhaps the most demonstrative example), and frankly the first half 40-31 margin could have been much larger than it was.
Jarrett Allen got off to a difficult start, with six of Texas’ 12 first half turnovers. Iowa State was bringing extra defenders every time Allen caught the ball in the post, and the Texas freshman wouldn’t adjust until late in the game.
The Longhorns kept things within striking distance in the first half by playing mostly solid defense, and by running effective offense against the Cyclones in possessions that didn’t end with a turnover.
Kerwin Roach built on some of his recent success, running the point fairly well in the first half. He scored eight points in the first period, and was only responsible for one of the Texas turnovers.
The one Cyclone that Texas didn’t have an answer for was Deonte Burton, who scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes of the game, knocking down shots from the perimeter as well as using his funky game to score around the basket.
It was a rough end to a difficult Texas first half that left me looking like this.
Iowa State came out of the locker room and went on an early run, taking a 49-35 lead and forcing a Texas timeout. But the Longhorns didn’t fall apart in a difficult road setting, pulling things back to 51-44 by the under-12 timeout by tightening up the defense. Burton would strike back by scoring seven straight points combining a drive to the basket, a three, and a dunk after rolling off of a screen.
No one for Texas could guard Deonte Burton, who is his own way creates the same sort of match-up difficulties that departed Cyclone Georges Niang used to. He is too big and too strong for a perimeter player, but his shooting ability and skill with the ball off the dribble makes him a difficult assignment for a big man.
The Longhorns weren’t finished. A Kerwin Roach-fueled run pulled Texas to within four points with a little more than six minutes remaining in the game. Roach is coming into his own as a point guard, running the Texas offense confidently over the past few games. He was solid in the first half and started to cook in the second. His overall line tonight included going 7-9 from the floor, 4-4 from three-point range, and five assists.
Several threes for Iowa State and a pair of scores for for Texas would leave things at a 68-63 lead at the final media timeout of the game. Shortly after, a nice jump hook by Jarrett Allen would set up a three point game with 3:21 remaining.
That was the closest things would get for Texas. Down the stretch, Iowa State had more good possessions than the Longhorns, took a lead into the late game, and hit the needed free throws.
Iowa State is undersized, but this was a game where experience mattered. The Cyclones have one of the most seasoned squads in the nation, starting five seniors. Roach may have more or less matched his counterpart Morris shot for shot, but the rest of the Cyclones were just too much for Texas in Ames.
Texas’ next game is against TCU at home on Wednesday.