After starting the season 14-0, No. 8 Iowa State has come crashing back down to earth following Saturday’s 86-76 loss at Texas. The Big 12 loss marks the third consecutive loss for the Cyclones as they drop to 14-3, and 2-3 in the conference on the season.
Continuing to play on a bum ankle suffered in the loss against Oklahoma last weekend, DeAndre Kane struggled to 3-for-12 shooting from the field and seven turnovers as the All-American candidate finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Iowa State struggled to 11-for-32 shooting from the three-point line and had 17 turnovers for the game as a 36-all score at halftime quickly blew open for Texas as the Longhorns led the Cyclones the final 14:46 of the game.
The game was never a blowout but inside scoring was a huge impact for the Longhorns. Jonathan Holmes (23 points, seven rebounds, 9-for-13 shooting) and Cameron Ridley (16 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks, 7-for-10 shooting) both played very well for Texas and helped put Iowa State into foul trouble.
Although guards Javan Felix (17 points) and Isaiah Taylor (12 points) both finished in double-figures for Texas they combined for an unreliable 6-for-24 from the field as Holmes and Ridley both shot high percentages and drew fouls on a consistent basis.
Georges Niang (18 points) and Melvin Ejim (17 points) paced the Iowa State offense, but the Cyclones have given up at least 77 points — or more — in the last three Big 12 losses and defense is becoming a concern for them as conference season wears along.
We know about Hilton Magic and the Cyclones’ ability to score, but can Iowa State get enough stops to be a reliable team in March?