The Iowa State men’s basketball team never makes things easy. After getting up by 18 points, foul trouble in the front court and poor shots by DeAndre Kane gave Texas Tech all the opportunity to steal a game at Hilton Coliseum, but they couldn’t make the shots either.
Kane had a brilliant first half for the Cyclones (19-5, 7-5) and finished the day with 17 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. But it’s what could have been; the point guard flirted with a triple-double early in the second half, but cooled off from the field after trying to take over the game.
He really struggled handling the ball as he drove to the basket. Mental mistakes also played a key role; Kane had three turnovers in the second half with one of them featuring him stepping out of bounds while grabbing a rebound. He also missed two critical free throws at the end of the game to give Texas Tech, who was down 68-64 with 22 seconds left, a little hope.
Before that, Iowa State was up 48-32 in the second half. The wheels started coming off when both Melvin Ejim and Dustin Hogue got into foul trouble. Clinging to a 57-48 lead with 9:39 to go, Ejim was called for his fourth foul Then, Hogue was called for his fourth 27 seconds later.
It was the Jaye Crockett show for the majority of the second half, who helped the Red Raiders (13-12, 5-7) get back in it with 19 of his 23 total points. Crokett drew both Ejim and Hogue’s fourth fouls, capitalizing on them and others by making all eight free throw attempts. He finished with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds.
Texas Tech did have the lead at one point. Jordan Tolbert made his lone 3-point shot to get it back to 61-60, then Crockett made a layup on an assist by Dusty Hannahs to make it 62-61. Ejim then made a layup off of Kane’s miss, to give Iowa State a one-point lead. They wouldn’t look back after that.
The Red Raiders only have themselves to blames. When Iowa State had to sit both Ejim and Hogue, they simply couldn’t make the shots needed to grab a lead and keep it there. They finished making 37 percent from the field. Iowa State made 51.9 percent from the field.
- Tolbert was feisty all day on the glass and was able to corral 10 points and nine rebounds.
- Georges Niang was this game’s workhorse for the Cyclones, making 8-of-14 from the field and finishing with 17 points, four assists, and three rebounds.
- Monte Morris had the most shocking statline, finishing with just two points but had five assists, seven rebounds, (!!!), and three steals.
Iowa State’s back-and-forth adventure comes to an end this season as they host their second home game in a row against Texas on Tuesday night. Tip-off will be at 6:00 PM Central time and televised on ESPN2.