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Roach, Bamba lead Texas past Iowa State, 73-57

A hot start and stout defense paved the way for Texas’ 13th win of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns notched their first Big 12 sweep of the season on Monday night at the Frank Erwin Center with a 73-57 win over the Iowa State Cyclones.

On a night in which Shaka Smart’s bunch never trailed, Kerwin Roach II led the Longhorns out of the gate and Mohamed Bamba took Texas to the finish.

In what proved to be his best shooting display since a 79-70 loss to Iowa State last January, Roach caught fire early on, stroking his first three perimeter attempts to lift Texas to an early 11-4 edge.

The Longhorns never relented the lead.

Roach added only three more points throughout the remaining 17:29 of the first half, which also came by way of a three-pointer to keep the junior perfect from the perimeter. When Roach cooled, it was Bamba who shouldered the offensive load for the Longhorns, converting six of his first seven attempts to lead all scorers with 13 at the break as Texas held a 38-29 lead.

Texas enjoyed similar success in the second half, finding its fair share of offensive success and largely limiting the Cyclones offensively, especially around the rim, courtesy of Bamba’s three blocks. On the few occasions in which Iowa State did spark a slight run, Texas answered to maintain its cushion, just as the ‘Horns did by outmatching a pair of threes from Donovan Jackson and Nick Weiler-Babb with a pair of dunks from Bamba and Roach before a Bamba three forced an Iowa State timeout with 11:50 remaining.

Throughout the next five-plus minutes, Texas saw its lead mushroom to as much as 65-49 with 6:24 to play following an Eric Davis Jr. three-pointer, but just when the lead seemed comfortable, the Cyclones made a push to keep things interesting.

Once again, a Jackson three was followed by a Weiler-Babb three, headlining what became an 8-0 Iowa State run in less than two and a half minutes, cutting the Texas advantage to 65-57.

Texas didn’t find a way to answer Iowa States run until Davis sank a pair of free throws with just 1:03 remaining to end a scoring drought that lasted upwards of five minutes, but fortunately for the ‘Horns, the Cyclones scored just two more points while Texas added eight more for a 73-57 finish.

Bamba led all scorers with a career-high 24 points, along with 12 rebounds to add another double-double to his resume. Roach matched his own career high with 22 points courtesy of his sharpshooting efforts. Davis and Dylan Osetkowski also reached double figures in the scoring column with 11 points and 10 points, respectively.

For the Cyclones, Weiler-Babb and Lindell Wigington each dropped 15 points to lead Iowa State in scoring, and Cameron Lard added 12 points of his own, although only two of those points came in the second half. The rest of the Cyclones roster scored a combined 15 points.

With the win, the Longhorns improve to 13-7 on the season and 4-4 in Big 12 play.

The next appearance will come on Saturday against Ole Miss as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. A win would mark the first back-to-back wins for Texas since beating Tennessee State and Alabama in December.