No. 12 Iowa State pulls away from No. 7 Texas, wins 78-67

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AMES, Iowa – Jaren Holmes scored 21 points and No. 12 Iowa State defeated No. 7 Texas 78-67 on Tuesday night.

Holmes hit seven of 13 shots, including two 3-pointers, and Gabe Kalscheur added 16 points.

“We earned this,” Holmes said. “We deserve this, because of our daily habits.”

Caleb Grill contributed 17 and Osun Osunniyi finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Cyclones (14-3, 5-1 Big 12).

“There is a rugged toughness to how we do it,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “But there is a togetherness and a unity that are at a really, really special level with this group.”

Texas (15-3, 4-2) was undone by a second-half scoring drought that lasted nearly 4 1/2 minutes. Iowa State responded with an 8-0 run to seize control.

The Longhorns went 9 1/2 without making a shot from the floor.

“They made plays down the stretch,” Texas interim coach Rodney Terry said. “T.J. had his team ready to play today. Just a highly competitive game in the Big 12.”

A 3-pointer from Grill gave the Cyclones a 64-55 lead with 6:01 to play.

Christian Bishop led Texas with 12 points.

The Longhorns’ Tyrese Hunter scored 10 points – all in the first half – in his return to Ames, after transferring from Iowa State. Hunter was greeted with boos and an occasional obscene chant from the student section.

He responded with six quick points, matching his scoring mark from his previous three games.

“We’re Texas. We get everybody’s big game,” Terry said. “We looked at it like ‘you know what, it’s another opportunity to compete at the highest level.’ (Hunter) attacked it the same way.”

The Longhorns went on to build a 29-18 lead, before Iowa State answered with a 10-0 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Kalscheur and Grill.

Texas went the final 7:28 of the first half without a field goal, but only trailed 36-35.

“The first 10 minutes, they were the aggressor,” Otzelberger said. “That last 30 minutes, how we competed defensively, is the club we are and who we need to be for 40 minutes.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State moved into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 standings with Tuesday’s win. The finish came about 30 minutes after Kansas’ 83-82 overtime loss at Kansas State, handing the Jayhawks their first conference loss.

UP NEXT

Texas plays at West Virginia on Saturday night.

Iowa State visits Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Caleb Grill, Iowa State topples No. 1 North Carolina 70-65

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Caleb Grill has followed T.J. Otzelberger from South Dakota State to UNLV and now back to Iowa State hoping the pair could share a moment like they did Friday.

Taking down the No. 1 team in the country was another bookmark moment in a long journey for the pair.

“I’m actually really enjoying sitting next to him from this moment right now just thinking about how long we’ve known each other and how cool this really was,” Otzelberger said.

Grill hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points and Iowa State rallied in the final five minutes to stun No. 1 North Carolina 70-65 in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational.

Iowa State (5-0) picked up just its third win over a team ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Cyclones are 3-22 against No. 1 teams, with the other wins coming against Kansas in 1957 and Oklahoma in 2016.

The Cyclones can now add North Carolina (5-1) to the list.

“I was just staying the course of the game. I never really thought about it and the game just kind of came to me,” Grill said.

Grill was averaging 7.3 points and had made just 4 of 24 3-point attempts for the season entering Friday. But he couldn’t be stopped from beyond the arc, hitting a pair of big 3s to spark Iowa State’s late rally. His deep fadeaway jumper just inside the 3-point line with 1:40 left gave Iowa State a 63-61 lead and the Cyclones did just enough at the free throw line in the final minute to close out the upset victory.

Grill’s previous career high was 27 points while playing for UNLV in the 2020-21 season against Alabama. He also hit seven 3-pointers in that game.

Grill originally signed with South Dakota State when Otzelberger was the coach there. He was released from his commitment when Otzelberger took the head job at UNLV and started his career at Iowa State before deciding to join his coach in Las Vegas.

When Otzelberger returned to Ames, Grill followed again.

“Just having him be the first person that really had belief in me, it’s just really special what he’s done for me and my family and everything we’ve done,” Grill said.

Jaren Holmes added 22 points and the Cyclones withstood off shooting games from Aljaz Kunc and Gabe Kalscheur, who combined for three points and missed all eight of their shot attempts. Both were averaging double figures scoring for Iowa State.

RJ Davis led North Carolina with 15 points, Armando Bacot added 14 and Caleb Love scored 12. But the Tar Heels will lament a series of mistakes in the closing minutes that allowed Iowa State to rally.

“We had wide open threes. We were able to get to the basket. We were able to get whatever we wanted, we just didn’t make those shots,” North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said.

North Carolina led 57-49 after Leaky Black’s layup with 5:43 left, but missed four of its final six shots and had four turnovers during that span.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times and you just can’t do that in late-game situations,” Davis said. “You have to be sound and discipline and you have to do that on both ends of the floor and we just didn’t do it.”

NO. 1 LOSSES

North Carolina lost as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015 when it lost 71-67 at Northern Iowa. The Tar Heels also lost as No. 1 to UNLV in 2011 at a Thanksgiving tournament.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: Pete Nance wasn’t able to contribute in the same way he did in Thursday’s opening round. Nance, who tied his career high with 28 points against Portland, didn’t score for the first 27 minutes and finished with seven points.

Iowa State: The Cyclones were playing a No. 1 team from outside their conference for the first time since 1999 when they faced Cincinnati in the championship game of the Big Island Invitational.

UP NEXT

Iowa State will face either No. 18 Alabama or No. 20 UConn in the championship game while the Tar Heels will face the loser for third place.

Cleveland State hires Iowa State assistant Robinson as coach

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND — Cleveland State is hiring longtime Iowa State assistant Daniyal Robinson as its next coach – its fourth in five years.

Robinson, who spent seven seasons over two stints with the Cyclones, will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday on Cleveland State’s campus.

Robinson replaces Dennis Gates, who turned Cleveland State around in three seasons before leaving last month to take over Missouri’s floundering program.

Robinson worked under Greg McDermott, Steve Prohm and T.J. Otzelberger at Iowa State. He was credited with helping the Cyclones land several top recruits and was regarded as one of the top assistants in the Big 12.

Cleveland State launched a national search for a new coach after Gates accepted the job at Missouri last month. Among the other candidates: Gonzaga assistant Roger Powell and Dru Joyce III, a close friend of LeBron James and an assistant under Gates at Cleveland State. It’s not yet known whether Joyce will be retained on Robinson’s staff.

Taking over a program in shambles, Gates led the Vikings to the NCAA Tournament in his second season and to back-to-back Horizon League regular-season titles the past two years.

Robinson will inherit a much better situation than Gates walked into. Cleveland State has made a renewed commitment to upgrading its athletic program. But one of Robinson’s first tasks could be convincing some of the Vikings players to stay. On Tuesday, star guard Tre Gomillion announced on Twitter that he intends to enter the transfer portal.

Kalscheur, Iowa State beat Wisconsin to reach Sweet 16

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MILWAUKEE — Gabe Kalscheur scored 22 points and 11th-seeded Iowa State surprised Wisconsin in the Badgers’ backyard, advancing to the Sweet 16 with a 54-49 victory Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Izaiah Brockington added 10 points as the gritty Cyclones used their tough defense to hold off Johnny Davis and company in front of a raucous pro-Wisconsin crowd about 80 miles away from the school’s Madison campus.

After winning just two games last season, Iowa State (22-12) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 and the sixth time in school history. It will play the Miami-Auburn winner in the Midwest Region semifinals on Friday in Chicago.

Kalscheur, a 6-foot-4 transfer from Minnesota who knows all about tough games in Wisconsin, went 10 for 19 from the field. The rest of the Cyclones combined for 10 made field goals.

After Brockington and freshman Tyrese Hunter led Iowa State to a 59-54 win over LSU in the first round, it was Kalscheur’s day.

Davis, the Big Ten Player of the Year, led Wisconsin with 17 points, but the Badgers shot a season-low 29.8% from the field and turned it over a season-high 17 times. Wisconsin was leading the nation with an average of 8.4 turnovers per game coming into the day.

The Badgers, who lost freshman point guard Chucky Hepburn to a leg injury in the first half, led by one after Chris Vogt’s rebound dunk with 18:09 left. But the Cyclones responded with an 11-2 run.

Kalscheur’s 3 put Iowa State ahead to stay, and Brockington’s jumper made it 38-30 with 10 minutes left.

The Badgers pulled within five on Davis’ two foul shots with 3:09 to go, but the rally fizzled from there. Hunter made two free throws and Kalscheur added another one from the line to help the Cyclones hold on.

Hepburn hurt his left leg after contesting Hunter’s layup with 4:37 left in the first half. He grabbed his leg after he landed and had to be helped off the court.

Hunter’s basket sparked an 8-0 run that gave the Cyclones a 25-22 lead with 1:44 remaining. Caleb Grill converted a layup as time expired, making it 27-26 Iowa State at the break.

Davis spiked the ball in frustration as he left the court after Grill’s basket. The Badgers had eight turnovers at the break after they turned it over just five times during their 67-60 victory over Colgate in the first round.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: The Cyclones’ stout defense is keeping the team in games while it struggles on offense, and that makes the Big 12 team a threat in the next round.

Wisconsin: Hepburn’s injury put the Badgers in a bad spot, but the team just never got into a rhythm offensively.

Texas Tech routs Iowa State, 72-41, in Big 12 quarterfinals

2022 Phillips 66 Big 12Men's Basketball Championship - Iowa State v Texas Tech
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Texas Tech coach Mark Adams walked through the handshake line after a 72-41 blowout of Iowa State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, then pulled aside Cyclones coach T.J. Otzelberger to whisper a couple of kind words.

“I told T.J. we probably couldn’t have played better than we did tonight,” Adams said Thursday night.

On both ends of the floor.

Terrence Shannon Jr. led the way on offense, while Kevin McCullar returned from an injury to contribute 11 points and Adonis Arms and Kevin Obanor scored 10 apiece. And on defense, the No. 14 Red Raiders forced the sloppy Cyclones into committing 20 turnovers and a 5-for-25 night from beyond the 3-point arc.

Not surprisingly, the Red Raiders led 39-20 at halftime and cruised the rest of the way into a showdown with No. 7 seed Oklahoma on Friday night. The Sooners upset third-ranked Baylor 72-67 earlier in the night.

“We just watched Oklahoma beat Baylor and I feel like that fueled us more,” Shannon said, “and we also saw that Texas had a 20-point lead and blew it, so we knew any team could win today. We did our best to come out strong.”

They Cyclones (20-12), who started the season 12-0 and beat the Red Raiders in early January, are now left to sweat out Selection Sunday. They didn’t do themselves any favors with a dismal performance Thursday night.

“They played great. Very well prepared for that game,” Otzelberger said, “and on our end of things, that was completely unacceptable. … Not our proudest moment and unacceptable effort. We’ve just got to be better.”

Tyrese Hunter led the Cyclones with nine points, though he also had seven turnovers. All-Big 12 guard Izaiah Brockington scored seven but was just 3 of 16 from the field and 1 of 6 from the 3-point line.

“We have to leave this game behind us,” Hunter said. “It’s a quick turnaround. Put it behind us and look to the next game.”

Texas Tech is one of the most experienced teams in the country, starting a junior alongside four seniors, and it showed from the very first minute, when the Red Raiders ran crisp half-court offense that produced easy inside buckets.

The difference came when Texas Tech got into transition, though.

Whether it was off a long 3-point miss – Iowa State was 3 of 15 from the arc in the first half – or off one of the 10 turnovers from the normally sure-handed Cyclones, the Red Raiders swiftly raced down court for uncontested layups.

They led 39-20 at halftime, and that was largely due to a 12-0 advantage on fast breaks.

The lead could have been bigger, too. Texas Tech got possession when Iowa State’s Caleb Grill stepped out of bounds with 1.2 seconds left. After an inbound pass the ball went to Arms, whose shot from beyond the midcourt line rattled through the basket, only to be waved off after a video review showed it left his hands a split-second late.

“I thought it was good,” Shannon said with a grin.

Not that those three points mattered in the grand scheme of things.

The Red Raiders had the game firmly in hand.

Besides, they scored the first nine points of the second half anyway, while Iowa State continued to throw the ball away to prevent any sort of comeback in a tournament where the Cyclones have been tough to beat over the years.

“Just extremely pleased,” Adams said. “I thought we played one of the best 40 minutes we’ve played all year. Our guys were ready to play. I’m certainly proud of their effort, especially on defense. I thought we made a statement that we’re a great defensive team and I was proud of that.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State’s remarkable 18-win improvement over last season is sure to impress the NCAA selection committee. So should wins over over Xavier, Memphis and Iowa out of conference play and the Red Raiders and Texas in the Big 12.

Texas Tech went 18-0 at home this season under Adams, the Big 12 coach of the year. But the Red Raiders were just 5-8 away from home, leaving questions about how they would perform in the Big 12 and NCAA tourneys. Well, they answered any doubters with their performance against the Cyclones on Thursday night.

UP NEXT

The Red Raiders play the Sooners on Friday night for a spot in the championship game. They split two meetings earlier this season with Oklahoma winning in a rout in Norman and Texas Tech returning the favor in Lubbock.

Brockington scores 30, Iowa State beats No. 25 Xavier 82-70

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NEW YORK- Izaiah Brockington scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half, and Iowa State beat No. 25 Xavier 82-70 on Wednesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Tyrese Hunter added 19 points for Iowa State (5-0), Gabe Kalscheur scored 12 points and George Conditt had 10.

Jack Nunge scored 24 points off the bench for Xavier (4-1). Colby Jones had 11 points and Dwon Odom scored 10.

Iowa State trailed 39-38 at halftime but took control with a 24-9 run over the first 7:29 of the second half that included 13 points by Brockington. Xavier cut the deficit to five points, but didn’t get closer as Iowa State closed out the game on a 16-9 run.

The Musketeers pounded the ball inside, scoring 28 of their 39 first-half points in the paint, but were flustered by Iowa State’s defense in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: Big 12 Conference rivals likely won’t look forward to the trip to Ames to face Iowa State’s lockdown defense. Entering the game, the Cyclones had limited three of their first four opponents to 60 points or fewer, and they bottled up Xavier in the second half Wednesday.

Xavier: Eleven of the 16 players on the Musketeers’ roster are seniors or juniors, and the experience showed as Xavier rallied from big deficits in each half. But Xavier has to make shots for its methodical approach to work, and the Musketeers went 9 of 25 from the field in the second half, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

UP NEXT

The winner of Wednesday night’s game between No. 9 Memphis and Virginia Tech faces Iowa State on Friday, while the loser meets Xavier.