A Texas win and a Kansas loss on Tuesday night would have made for a tie atop the Big 12 Conference standings. However, the Longhorns entered Hilton Coliseum, and left with only their second loss in their last 11 games as Iowa State took an important conference matchup with an 85-76 win.
Tuesday night was a battle of different-style of frontlines with Cameron Ridley posing as a big challenge inside, and Jonathan Holmes in his second game back from a knee injury for No. 19 Texas. No. 17 Iowa State countered with its front court of Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang, a talented, but undersized duo who can stretch the floor.
Ejim, Niang and DeAndre Kane all went for at least 20 with Ejim leading all scorers with 25 followed by Kane’s 22-point, seven-rebound, five-assist night and Niang with 20. The trio shot a combined 57 percent from the field, having their way with the Texas defense.
Holmes was one-rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points, nine boards. Ridley went for 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting. The second time around, he was limited to just four points and five rebounds.
Defensively, the Cyclones forced the Longhorns into long stretches without a field goal in both halves. Texas missed its first six attempts from the field to start the game, and went without a field goal for the final five-plus minutes of the first half. Texas went into another drought with less than seven minutes remaining in the second half, going without a made basket for more than six minutes, while Iowa State expanded its lead to double digits during that span.
Outside of freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor, who finished with 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Texas shot 30 percent as a team with a particularly rough shooting night for Javan Felix, who scored 16 points of 6-of-22 shooting and 4-of-15 from three.
Iowa State is at TCU on Saturday while Texas travels to Lawrence to face No. 8 Kansas.