The Iowa State Cyclones have seemingly pushed the West Virginia loss and clumsy win against Texas Tech out of their minds, because they played solid team ball en route to a convincing 85-76 win over the Texas Longhorns.
Senior Melvin Ejim shone yet again, leading Iowa State in scoring with 25 points, along with eight rebounds, two steals, two assists, and a block. DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang weren’t far behind the senior, as Kane finished with 22 and Niang with 20. All three shot over 50 percent from the field.
No one else besides those three scored in double figures for the Cyclones. Dustin Hogue came closest with nine points on four of six shooting.
Texas, on the other hand, shot terribly – just 23-70 from the field. Isaiah Taylor kept the Longhorns in it with 26 points, including a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line. The Longhorns as a whole were dynamite from the line, making 23 of their 25 freebies.
Iowa State shot only 70 percent from the line, mostly because DeAndre Kane made just six of his ten. Besides Kane, only Ejim drew a shooting foul more than once. Making more of those free throws could’ve resulted in a more lopsided win, but Iowa State still has to be pleased with how they closed out the Longhorns in the second half. After allowing Texas Tech to dictate the second half in their last game, the Cyclones took it to Texas late, sealing the win with a 25-12 run.
Ejim and Niang finished with four fouls apiece, and that still has to be troubling for coach Fred Hoiberg. Even though the fouls came late in this game, and as a result the guys were never really in foul trouble, they need to make sure those fouls don’t surface earlier. If they have to sit for longer periods of time, the Cyclones’ offensive production is going to fall. And of course, their energy on the floor is an asset to the team, as well.
Iowa State has no more ranked opponents on its schedule, but three of the five remaining games are on the road. Iowa State cannot afford another surprise like the West Virginia came; they need to go on the road and put together a nice streak heading into the sure-to-be competitive Big 12 Tournament. The Cyclones have a great chance to build on this Texas win Saturday at TCU. When the teams last met on February 8, Ejim scored 48 points. After this key win against the Longhorns, expect the Cyclones to have similar success on Saturday.