It’s the second meeting for the two teams after Iowa State created separation in the first half in Ames and held off Texas for a 79-70 win in which the Longhorns turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 23 points for the Cyclones.
The guard play was so bad that Chris Beard played walk-on Tristen Licon for 11 minutes and Avery Benson for six minutes. Neither player scored, nor did Devin Askew, who turned the ball over three times and was benched for most of the second half.
None of the frontcourt players managed to score in double digits, either, as Timmy Allen dealt with foul trouble after drawing two whistles in the first 16 seconds and played only 12 minutes in the game.
Saturday’s game marks another contest with the Longhorns facing one of the top defenses in the country — the Cyclones rank sixth nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, third in opposing turnover rate, and seventh in opposing three-point shooting percentage.
After what happened in Ames, the biggest keys for Texas are limiting turnovers, a major struggle in recent games as well, and getting more production from players like Allen and Tre Mitchell, who has only scored in double digits once in the last nine games after averaging 18.8 points per game last season at UMass.
Better defense on Iowa State guard Gabe Kalsheur would help, too — the senior transfer from Minnesota scored a game-high 22 points in the last matchup by hitting six threes.
Texas has won 12 of the last 13 games against Iowa State in Austin with a 17-2 overall record in the Erwin Center when hosting the Cyclones. KenPom.com gives the Longhorns a 70-percent win probability and with games against the Jayhawks and Bears looming, Beard’s team needs to hold its home court and secure the resume-boosting victory.
How to Watch:
TV: Longhorn Network
Time: 1:00 p.m. Central
Radio: Texassports.com affiliates
Odds: The Longhorns are 8.5-point favorites against the Cyclones, according to DraftKings.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.