The Texas Longhorns didn’t have quite enough magic at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, falling just short against the No. 20 Iowa State Cyclones, 65-60.
Texas did enjoy opportunities to win, but in what became a one-possession game down the stretch, the Longhorns’ slow start is largely to blame for the loss.
Texas almost immediately dug itself into an early deficit, falling behind 7-2 in the opening minutes. Texas did have some scoring opportunities, as a pair of Matt Coleman layups that were negated by a Jericho Sims basket interference call and a Coleman travel as the shot dropped, but the Horns were just generally unable to buy a bucket in the early going, starting 1-of-7 from the field and 0-4 from three. Those shooting woes were only magnified by the Horns’ struggling to take care of the ball, as Iowa State forced four quick Texas turnovers.
Despite the early struggles, though, Texas remained within striking distance and pulled within one possession after a Jase Febres three sparked a 5-0 Longhorns run. But the run was short-lived, as the Cyclones bounced back with one of their own; an 8-0 spurt behind back-to-back threes from Talen Horton-Tucker and Nick Weiler-Babb, stretching Iowa State’s lead to double digits, 19-9.
Following a Texas timeout, Horton-Tucker connected on another three to extend the Cyclones’ cushion to 22-9, but the Longhorns largely controlled the court between that point and the break.
A Kerwin Roach II triple stopped the bleeding, and after Roach traded buckets with Cameron Lard, the Longhorns were looking at a 26-14 deficit with 6:40 remaining in the first half. Texas quickly responded, with Hayes slamming home a dunk just seconds later, sparking what became an 8-0 Longhorns run while Iowa State started to suffer through some of its own turnover issues.
Coming out of a Cyclones timeout, Dylan Osetkowski came away with a steal, paving the way for a Coleman step-back jumper. Michael Jacobson connected with a jump shot of his own on the other end, but that wasn’t until the Longhorns had pieced together a 10-0 run. Following a few scoreless possessions, Osetkowski pushed that Texas run to 13-2 after slamming home an and-1 dunk opportunity.
Jacobson enjoyed the final jumper of the half, sinking a three to push Iowa State’s halftime lead to 31-27, though the Longhorns closed that half with momentum on a 13-5 run.
Considering the ultimate outcome, the Longhorns are now 0-5 this season in games in which Texas trails at the half.
Coming out of the break, Iowa State struck first blood again with Horton-Tucker connecting on a contested, step-back jump shot, but Texas was able to keep pace to begin the second half, exchanging buckets to keep the deficit at four points entering the under-16 media timeout.
Sloppy basketball then ensued, with the Longhorns and Cyclones each slogging through multiple turnovers.
The offenses began to find their footing coming out of the next media break. After Coleman and Lard exchanged buckets, Ramey connected on a three-pointer. Moments later, Roach added three points by way of the charity stripe after being fouled as the shot clock ticked away.
And then after back-to-back misses from Marial Shayok, the Big 12’s leading scorer, Coleman drilled a three to give Texas its first lead, 46-45, with 7:03 to play. Shayok then missed yet another layup on the ensuing series before Coleman kept the momentum going with a floater to cap an 8-0 Longhorns stretch.
Coming out of the under-eight media break, Weiler-Babb got the Cyclones back on the scoreboard, sinking a three to tie the game at 48, and on the following series, Wigginton swung momentum entirely in Iowa State’s favor and added four more points after converting a four-point play.
By the time Ramey responded with a three with 3:05 to play, Iowa State had amassed an 11-0 run and a 56-48 lead. Horton-Tucker answered Ramey’s three with a triple on the other end, and then Roach did the same just seconds later, keeping the Longhorns within five, 59-54.
Roach’s impact was then felt on the other end, as the senior drew a charge on Shayok before being fouled, himself, just seconds later and converting a pair of free throws. Weiler-Babb had an opportunity to do the same on the following series, but missed the front end of the one-and-one, and after Hayes tipped in a missed Roach jumper, the Cyclones lead was just one, 59-58, with 1:31 remaining.
The Hayes bucket capped a 7-0 run from the Longhorns, but the final minute and a half belonged almost entirely to the Cyclones.
Weiler-Babb banked in a jump shot with 59.5 remaining to increase the lead to 61-58, and after Coleman was unable to respond on the other end, Shayok sank a jumper, increasing Iowa State’s edge to 63-58 with just 25 seconds remaining.
Roach was able to trim the lead back to a single possession, 63-60, following a trip to the free throw line, but in must-foul mode, Texas sent Shayok to the charity stripe with 13 ticks to play, where he cashed and sealed the 65-60 Cyclones win.
Roach led all scorers with 19 points, and Coleman and Hayes joined him in double figures with 13 points and 10 points, respectively. Osetkowski and Ramey combined for 15 points, but the Longhorns bench produced only three points; a Febres three.
Horton-Tucker led the way for Iowa State with 15 points, in addition to six rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Shayok fell short of his season average with 12 points. Weiler-Babb cracked double digits, as well with 11 points, as did Lard with 11 points off the bench.
Iowa State shot 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from three.
Next up, the 12-10 (4-5) Longhorns will return home to host Baylor next Wednesday, Feb. 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT on Longhorn Network.
This story will be updated.