Either Iowa State men’s basketball loves the thrill of making their fans sit through a rollercoaster ride of agony and then ripping their hearts out collectively in all these road games, or they made a deal with the devil years ago. The Big 12 road tour now sits at 1-5, losing their last four straight and none of them stinging more than a double-overtime loss in Austin on Wednesday night.
The Cyclones (17-7, 6-5) had just eight turnovers when the team averages around 15 on the road in conference play. They hit 11 3-point shots when they’ve struggled from the range recently outside of a tremendous first half against Oklahoma. Tyrus McGee came off the bench and hit five of them; Chris Babb was a monster again with four of them. The team got to the free throw line and hit 19-24 from the stripe.
But wait, there’s more. Korie Lucious had 11 assists to just three turnovers. Will Clyburn hit 20 points and led the team with eight free throws. Melvin Ejim didn’t get in foul trouble and contributed 20 points and 16 rebounds – that’s Dwight Howard on a good day numbers.
Process all of that into an equation and it should be a win. But enter in “ISU,” and for some reason that equation doesn’t compute. Because that’s what Cyclones fans have witnessed since forever.
In all seriousness, the Longhorns (11-13, 3-8) deserve the credit with clutch shots forcing overtime with a brilliant play call to prevent Iowa State from fouling. Down by three, the ball was inbounded and then kicked out for a wide-open trey drained by Ioannis Papapetrou. They also made a big steal given up by Clyburn with about 34 seconds left in double OT.
Of course, Myck Kabongo gave Texas a jolt offensively. He finished with 13 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, but more importantly he spread the ball around for the Longhorns. The team had an early 16-0 run to take their biggest lead, 25-17, before Fred Hoiberg used a couple timeouts to fix his team and started alternating the defense with zone and man-to-man.
More reaction, analysis, pictures, and quotes to come from the huge and disappointing loss at the Frank Erwin Center. Iowa State’s next game is against TCU back at Hilton Coliseum early Saturday afternoon.