No. 8 Texas will look to hold onto its spot atop the Big 12 Conference standings when it plays host to No. 23 Iowa State on Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
The Longhorns (21-6, 10-4 Big 12) are tied for first in the Big 12 with No. 3 Kansas and head into their rematch with Iowa State after an 85-83 overtime home win over Oklahoma on Saturday. Sir’Jabari Rice tied a season high with 24 points for Texas, while Marcus Carr added 17 and Timmy Allen had 15.
Texas hit its first five shots in overtime to take charge but had to survive a potential game-tying layup at the buzzer by the Sooners. The Longhorns’ Tyrese Hunter made one of two free throws with 6.8 seconds left to provide the final points of the game.
The Longhorns had to overcome a seven-point deficit with 8:21 remaining just to force overtime. Texas allowed Oklahoma to make just one shot from the floor in the final 8:49 of the game.
“These guys have played a lot of games and we’re playing deep into February right now and we’ll be in games like this the rest of the year,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said. “This is this time of year’s type of games. Those guys have been great in terms of understanding what they’re playing for right now. Every game is (like) an NCAA Tournament game.”
The Cyclones (17-9, 8-6) head to Austin on the heels of a 61-55 loss at Kansas State on Saturday. Aljaz Kunc led Iowa State with 15 points while Gabe Kalscheur added 11 as the Cyclones played without outside threat Caleb Grill, who missed the game with a lingering back injury.
Grill’s absence prompted the Cyclones to push the ball inside, and they scored 24 points in the paint.
Iowa State led by 10 points late in the first half and by 31-23 at halftime but allowed Kansas State to swoop to the front with a 14-3 run early in the second half. Neither team led by more than five points the rest of the way until the final two minutes.
“In the second half we allowed (Kansas State) to get confidence and get back in the game,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “Our defense in the first half was the reason we scored, and I felt like our defense in the second half was the reason we didn’t score.
“We’re the type of team that when we get stops, our guys usually have more confidence. That gets us better looks and to the paint, and we weren’t as intentional defensively.”
Iowa State has dropped three of its past four games and fell to 2-7 on the road. The Cyclones defeated Texas 78-67 in Ames, Iowa, on Jan. 17 but Texas has been tough to beat at home, going 15-1.
–Field Level Media