No. 15 Texas tries to find momentum at Iowa State

NCAA Basketball

No. 15 Texas continues its grind-it-out-on-the-road end to its regular season with Tuesday’s Big 12 Conference battle against Iowa Statein Ames, Iowa.

The Longhorns (14-7, 8-6 Big 12) play their final three regular-season games on the road, all in a stretch of six days.

All of the games were rescheduled from earlier in the season because of COVID-19 protocols or travel issues, and were rushed onto the calendar to get as much of the conference schedule as possible finished before the Big 12 tournament.

The games are important to Texas to help build on its NCAA Tournament resume, especially after the Longhorns have stumbled through the past month, losing four of the seven games they played in February, including on Saturday on the road to No. 18 Texas Tech 68-59.

Jericho Sims led Texas with 11 points and seven rebounds as the Longhorns were held to 34.7 percent shooting from the floor. The Longhorns finished 7-for-24 from 3-point range.

“We didn’t do a good enough job of getting in the paint,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said after the loss. “It’s something we really emphasized the last couple practices.

“We’ll look at the tape, and there’s quite a few that we’ll pull off and say we didn’t need that shot with 15 seconds on the shot clock. Our level of willingness to just keep moving and keep attacking was not good enough today.”

Matt Coleman III (10 points) was the only other Longhorns player to score in double figures.

Texas missed its first 11 shots of the second half and ended up making just five of its 25 field-goal attempts after halftime. While the Longhorns were struggling, Texas Tech was on fire, scoring on eight of its first nine possessions after the break and pulling away from a game that was tied at 33 at halftime.

Iowa State (2-18, 0-15) is limping to the finish line after a 76-72 loss at home to TCU. It was the Cyclones’ 14th straight defeat — Iowa State has not won since Dec. 20 — but the second consecutive outing that they’ve been close in the final minutes.

Eight of Iowa State’s 15 conference losses are by 10 points or fewer, including a 78-72 defeat at Texas on Jan. 5.

“Our players are beyond crushed,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “They are competitors. They’ve been resilient, and they’ve persevered through everything that’s been thrown at them this year. So obviously, it’s a disappointed locker room because we haven’t won.”

The Cyclones were down by as many as 14 points in the first half on Saturday to TCU but stayed in the game behind Jalen Coleman-Lands’ 21 points, his third 20-point outing of the season. Coleman-Lands made his first seven shots and ended the game 8 of 11 from the floor.

Tre Jackson added 14 points off the bench for Iowa State. Rasir Bolton did not play in the second half against TCU because of an ankle injury.

–Field Level Media

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