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Texas Hangs On to Beat Iowa State in Overtime, Wins 94-91

The Longhorns gained a lead with a first half offensive explosion, and then did just enough the rest of the way to win.

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Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns held on to win in overtime, as a Georges Niang three point attempt missed as the buzzer expired. Isaiah Taylor led all scorers with 28 points, while Niang had 27 for Iowa State.

The first half was wide open on offense, as both teams went back and forth, scoring points at ease, until the Longhorns went on a run to end the half, 49-38. The Texas offense was propelled by three pointers during this time (and for much of the rest of the game). In particular, Tevin Mack closed the half strong, hitting two shots from beyond the arc in the last two minutes of the period.

The pace slowed down in the second half. Iowa State slowly fought its way back, hammering Texas with Niang. Hammered is the right word; Niang overpowered his man repeatedly, finally bringing the score to 85-85 with 1:16 left. Connor Lammert, Demarcus Holland, and Prince Ibeh each took their turns guarding Niang, but at least during regulation they could do little to slow him down.

Critical to Iowa State's comeback was also a far better effort on defense, after providing little resistance during the first portion of the game. The Cyclones were switching everything, and ISU center Jameel McKay was able to win his share of match ups after switching out on Isaiah Taylor after a ball screen.

After Niang tied the score at 85, Texas took the lead back. With the shot clock winding down, an Isaiah Taylor step through shot against McKay after yet another switched ball screen gave the Horns a two point lead. But only moments later Niang went right back down and scored on Prince Ibeh, knotting the game again.

On final possession for Texas in regulation, Isaiah Taylor drove the basket for the game winner, and appeared to be fouled by Abdel Nader, who grabbed Taylor as he went past, but no foul was called. A desperation full court heave by ISU (barely) missed, and the game went to overtime.

Shaka Smart's men started off the extra period well, getting off to a four point lead on a pair of strong plays by Javan Felix. On the first possession, Felix drove to the basket and converted, and on the second Felix missed a three, but followed his shot, grabbed the ball, and found Taylor cutting to the rim for a layup.

On the other end, Texas held tough against Niang. Niang again drove the basket on ISU's first OT possession, but this time was unable to convert over Ibeh. The next two possessions for the Cyclones would end with a Niang turnover and Niang missing the front end of a one and one.

However, a possession later, Monte Morris drove the basket and scored, and on the ensuing possessions both teams would score again, bringing the score to 93-91.

With 1:12 remaining, Demarcus Holland, who had played with greater energy in this game than any other time in recent weeks, drew a trip to the free throw line. He missed both free throws, giving Iowa State an opportunity to tie the game. However, the Texas defense would hold up when Prince Ibeh blocked a McKay putback attempt.

The Longhorns drained some clock before Isaiah Taylor drew a shooting foul with 22 seconds left. Hitting his first free throw, but missing his second, Taylor left the door open for the Cyclones.

But again, the Texas defense would hold up. Prince Ibeh blocked a Matt Thomas three (Ibeh may have gotten away with a foul -- it was a little hard to tell, but by this point the officials had already swallowed and digested their whistles), and the shot went out of bounds. And with 3.3 seconds remaining, the Iowa State inbounds play would result in a three point attempt for Niang that missed badly.

After building a big first half lead, the Longhorns had held on to win.


  • Before the game it was announced that sophomore forward Jordan Barnett has informed the coaching staff that he intends to transfer. Barnett only appeared in four games this year, and with so many players on the perimeter for Texas just didn't see much of a chance of gaining more playing time in the near future. His decision to leave the program means that the Longhorns have no scholarship sophomores remaining on the roster. Transfers are just a part of life in college basketball and the odds of them occurring increases with a first year coaching staff.
  • The Longhorns went 13-31 from three point range. They both shot, and made, a lot of perimeter shots. It is a big part of the reason why they won the game. Texas also played an exceptionally clean game, only turning the ball over five times.
  • I understand why they are doing it, but Iowa State is going to have a hard time grinding through conference play using only seven players. Monte Morris played all 45 minutes, and Niang played 40. Coach Steve Prohm is asking a lot of these guys, and they are mostly giving it to him. But, man.
  • Texas matched Iowa State's small lineups with some of its own. Particularly in the first half, Smart ran some with Lammert and Tevin Mack as his two big men. For a period of time, this group really cooked on offense. Isaiah Taylor surrounded by four perimeter shooters should be able to score points, particularly against a team that doesn't play defense at the highest level. The problem for these smaller lineups comes on defense, but against Iowa State the issue may not be as great as it will be against other teams in the Big 12.
  • Kendal Yancy seems to have worked his way back into Smart's rotation. Yancy has been the victim of a roster where too many guys play the same position, but tonight he played 21 minutes, and they were productive. Yancy is just the sort of player who seems to find himself in the right spot a lot. He will hit open shots, and can attack the basket, but he mostly plays a secondary role on offense. Tonight he really helped Texas become the more aggressive team early in the game, chasing down loose balls and making some general trouble on the floor.