No. 17 Iowa State stays unbeaten, holds off Jackson State 47-37

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AMES, Iowa- T.J. Otzelberger became the first Iowa State coach to win his first 10 games with the team, guiding the 17th-ranked Cyclones past Jackson State 47-37 on Sunday.

The Cyclones improved 10-0 after ending last season with 18 straight losses. Iowa State beat Jackson State last Dec. 20, then didn’t win again in finishing 2-22.

Aljaz Kunc led Iowa State with 12 points and Gabe Kalscheur added 11.

Otzelberger saw a difference in the Cyclones coming off their emotional 73-53 win over Iowa on Thursday.

“That certainly wasn’t the game offensively we hoped it would be. We’re not going to apologize or worry about the things we didn’t do offensively,” he said. “I didn’t think we had the same hop in our step that we normally do.”

Jonas James scored 11 points for Jackson State (2-7).

“We knew they were going to come out aggressive on defense. I think we did a pretty good job getting the ball into the paint. We just have to execute better from there,” Kunc said.

The Cyclones went more than seven minutes without scoring in the second half and held a shaky 44-37 lead with 2 1/2 minutes left.

But Iowa State didn’t let the Tigers score again, holding them to 40% shooting overall and forcing 22 turnovers.

Jackson State made two early baskets, then the Cyclones scored 19 unanswered points.

Kunc highlighted the run with a four-point play, hitting his free throw after swishing a 3 from the right wing.

Jackson State missed seven shots during a 9 1/2-minute scoring drought. Coach Wayne Brent’s team also committed six turnovers.

Jackson State gradually pulled within 28-22 early in the second half, but Iowa State responded with a 9-0 run to push the margin to 37-22.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State has gone from an NCAA Tournament long shot to potentially a top 15 team in the rankings. The Cyclones began this weekend as one of six teams nationally to have multiple wins over ranked opponents, having beaten then-No. 25 Xavier and No. 9 Memphis.

UP NEXT

Jackson State: The Tigers stay in the state to play at Northern Iowa on Tuesday and at Drake on Thursday.

Iowa State: This game was the first of what should be three consecutive tune-ups for the Cyclones, with Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 19) and Chicago State (Dec. 21) upcoming. Iowa State opens Big 12 play Jan. 1 against No. 2 Baylor.

Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard gets extension through 2026

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AMES, Iowa – Iowa State extended athletic director Jamie Pollard’s contract through 2026 on Monday after a breakthrough football season.

The school said there is no scheduled salary increase. He was earning $757,000 when he announced temporary 10% pay cuts for coaches and some administrators to help offset a $25 million budget shortfall because of COVID-19.

Pollard, the athletic director since 2005, will be the nation’s fourth-longest serving Football Bowl Subdivision AD this fall behind Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione, Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart and Ohio State’s Gene Smith.

University President Wendy Wintersteen lauded Pollard for his “consistently steady and successful leadership over many years, especially during a worldwide pandemic that brought unprecedented challenges.”

Iowa State had its best football season in program history in 2020. The Cyclones played in the Big 12 championship game and beat Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, and Pollard extended coach Matt Campbell’s contract through 2028.

“The administration’s support, led by President Wintersteen, has been instrumental to our program’s success,” Pollard said.

The department this spring will open the new $90 million Sports Performance Center, which is in addition to nearly $250 million in facilities upgrades under Pollard.

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics named Pollard its 2019 athletic director of the year. He is in his second year of a five-year term on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee.

Texas advances to Sweet 16 with 71-62 win over UCLA

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SAN ANTONIO — With Charli Collier struggling on offense and saddled with foul trouble, Texas got contributions from other players to advance to the Sweet 16.

Celeste Taylor scored 24 points, Kyra Lambert added 17 and the No. 6 seed Longhorns beat third-seeded UCLA 71-62 in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Wednesday night.

“We’re not one person. Charli has carried us a lot this year. There were nights we couldn’t throw it in the ocean if we were standing on the beach at high tide,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “To see us go out and do what we did, score 71 points, and do it the way we did it is the sign of development of a team.”

The start of the game was delayed about 25 minutes because Iowa State and Texas A&M went into overtime on the court on the other side of the Alamodome. Texas and UCLA walked back to their locker rooms when the other game went to the extra session and both teams were looking up at the giant videoboards to catch the Aggies’ buzzer-beating win.

The long wait didn’t seem to bother Texas (20-9), which outscored the Bruins 22-6 in the second to go up 35-14 at halftime. That including holding UCLA (17-6) scoreless for nearly 6:30 minutes during a 12-0 run.

UCLA coach Cori Close refused to use the delay as an excuse.

“I don’t know, things happen. This year you have to be adaptable. We went back to the locker room and said here we go, another time to be adaptable,” she said. “The same thing happened to Texas that happened to us and they handled it a little bit better. Was it ideal? No. This whole year wasn’t ideal.”

UCLA showed much more fight in the second half, cutting the deficit to 51-41 after three quarters. Charisma Osborne’s three-point play with a second left got the Bruins as close as they had been since early in the second quarter.

But UCLA absorbed a couple of big blows early in the fourth. Michaela Onyenwere picked up her fourth foul, and Lauryn Miller crumpled to the floor after turning the ball over on the baseline. She had to be helped off the court and walked gingerly to the locker room midway through the quarter with assistance. She returned a few minutes later with a crutch and a heavy wrap on her right knee.

The Bruins kept hanging around and got within nine, but a busted play led to a corner 3-pointer by Joanne Allen-Taylor that restored Texas’ double-digit lead with 4:12 left. The Bruins couldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.

Next up for Texas is a matchup with Maryland on Sunday.

The game was expected to be a post battle between potential No. 1 picks in the WNBA draft Collier of Texas and Onyenwere of UCLA.

Collier, who was averaging 20 points and nearly 12 rebounds, was hampered by foul trouble. She finished with five points and five rebounds. Lambert picked up the slack with 10 boards.

Onyenwere did all she could, scoring 21 points before fouling out. She had 10 of the team’s 14 points in the first half. The rest of the team missed 13 of its 14 shots in the opening 20 minutes.

By the time she got a little bit of help, it was too late for the Bruins, who reached the Sweet 16 in the previous four NCAA Tournaments.

“UCLA has had everything to do with the player I am and the person I am today,” Onyenwere said through tears. “Coach Cori said this game doesn’t define our season and how hard we worked. … I’m incredibly proud of my team this year, I’m incredibly proud and honored to go to UCLA and have the experiences that I did. But yeah, today was rough, but I’m extremely grateful for just everything UCLA has given me.”

TIP-INS

Onyenwere moved into fourth on UCLA’s career scoring list with 1,888 points. She came into the game tied for fifth and passed Rehema Stephens, who was fourth with 1,887. … UCLA had held three of its previous four opponents to under 50 points. Texas reached that mark by the end of the third quarter.

Joens scores 33, leads Iowa St. women past Michigan St 79-75

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SAN ANTONIO — Ashley Joens scored 33 points on Monday to set an Iowa State record for an NCAA Tournament game but it may have been unsung senior Madison Wise and a couple freshmen who saved the day.

Joens also made the clinching free throw with 3.1 seconds left to give the seventh-seeded Cyclones a 79-76 opening-round win over 10th-seeded Michigan State.

But Wise provided the Cyclones (17-10) a 13-point, 11-rebound performance off the bench as Joens dealt with some foul trouble and freshmen Emily Ryan and Lexi Donarski both made a pair of free throws down the stretch.

The seventh-seeded Cyclones will play second-seeded and fourth-ranked Texas A&M in the second round of the Mercado Region on Wednesday.

“I think probably one of the harder things, we do, I do, is take (Joens) out of the game,” Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly said. “I thought the other kids did a good job, I thought Maddie Wise might have played the best game she’s ever played at Iowa State.”

The Cyclones made 8 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter and 6 of 8 in the final 1:41 to hold off the 10th-seeded Spartans, who trailed by 10 with 1:40 to play in the third quarter. That was the only time the lead reached double figures and it lasted for 13 seconds.

Ryan made two free throws and Joens one after a 3-pointer by Julia Ayrault pulled MSU within 73-71 with 1:47 to play.

Ayrault made a layup with just over a minute to go and Alyza Winston made another at 25.6 seconds, cutting it to 76-75. But Donarski made two free throws with 22.8 seconds to play and Joens rebounded Michigan State’s last miss and clinched the game.

“You hear all the stories … its tough stuff for a team with freshmen to win,” Fennelly said. “I’m like, `Well, that’s not good for us because we play a lot of freshmen.’ But our guards are good. They’re tough-minded. Emily and Lex, I thought did a great job playing a lot of minutes against a really good physical defensive team.”

Nia Clouden scored 16 points for the Spartans (15-9), Winston had 11 and Taiyier Parks nine with 11 rebounds.

“I think what makes it tough, she takes her time with the ball, she’s really patient,” Clouden said on guarding Joens. “When you’re playing one-on-one defense against her, you never know when she’s going to go up to score or if she’s going to fake. … She’s really relentless.”

Joens scored 18 points, hitting three of the Cyclones’ seven 3-pointers, to help build a 45-39 halftime lead.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: The Spartans had nine different starting lineups this year with Clouden the only player to start every game. The injuries continued in the NCAA Tournament with Moira Joiner, who hit a tying 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, leaving the game with 3:01 left. Joiner tried to take a charge on Joens and hit the back of her head on the floor.

Iowa State: Joens had her seventh 30-point game of the season. … The Cyclones have appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments, all under Fennelly. … Among the notable numbers for ISU this season: ending Baylor’s 61-game home winning streak and making a school-record 19 3-pointers at Texas Tech.

BARN STORMERS

When the pandemic hit, Joens and her freshman sister teammate Aubrey needed to keep sharp. Among the places they worked out was in the neighbor’s barn in Iowa City, which had a small court in the basement.

There was never a problem finding competition. Older sister Courtney played at Illinois, younger sister Kelsey plays for Iowa City High School and the youngest sister, Bailey, 9, is a player.

SHE’S BACK

The last time the Cyclones and Spartans met was in the 2009 Sweet 16 in Berkeley, California, when Iowa State pulled out a 69-68 win. The final basket – a banked 3-pointer – with 23 seconds left was made by Alison Lacey. Now Lacey is returning to Ames as the wife of new Iowa State men’s coach T.J. Otzelberger, who was introduced last Thursday.

McClung leads No. 18 Texas Tech to 81-54 rout of Iowa State

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LUBBOCK, Texas – Mac McClung and Texas Tech are on a three-game winning streak again – just as the No. 18 Red Raiders were the last time they played third-ranked Baylor.

Now the school that reached the championship game in the most recent NCAA Tournament two years ago gets a rematch with this year’s Big 12 favorite for a deep postseason run.

Coming off an 81-54 rout Thursday night that dropped Iowa State to 0-17 in conference, coach Chris Beard just wants the Red Raiders to savor Sunday’s visit to the Bears, who have already wrapped up their first Big 12 regular-season championship.

“I want to see a confident, aggressive team, a team with joy, a team that is looking forward to playing one of the best teams in the country on the road,” Beard said. “It’s a great opportunity to see where we stack up before March Madness starts.”

McClung scored 20 points as Texas Tech kept rolling in the aftermath of a three-game losing streak, the longest of the season, by pulling away from Iowa State in the second half.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 14 points and seven rebounds as Texas Tech (17-8, 9-7 Big 12) wrapped up its home schedule with a fifth consecutive victory over the Cyclones, the longest winning streak for either team in the series. Terrence Shannon Jr. and Micah Peavy scored 12 points apiece, and Kyler Edwards had 11.

With their 16th consecutive loss, the Cyclones (2-20, 0-17) clinched the most Big 12 losses in a season since TCU went 0-18 in 2013-14. Iowa State will try to avoid matching that dubious record in the regular-season finale against Kansas State on Saturday.

Jalen Coleman-Lands and Tyler Harris each scored 15 points for Iowa State, which already had the most conference losses in school history and now has a second consecutive 20-loss season overall.

After trimming an early 16-point deficit to 31-27 late in the first half, Iowa State was still within nine with 13 minutes remaining when McClung, the No. 5 scorer in the Big 12, scored seven points and Santos-Silva had six on a 15-2 run for a 67-45 lead.

The Cyclones shot a season-worst 31%, making just 18 of 58 shots while going 8 of 27 from 3-point range.

“Against them when you have a good shot, you’ve got to make them,” coach Steve Prohm said. “When you have shots around the rim, you’ve got to make them because they make it hard in every aspect to score against them.”

Texas Tech, which lost to Virginia in overtime in the 2019 NCAA title game, still has a chance to climb out of seventh place and avoid a first-round game in the Big 12 tournament. If Texas Tech has to play one, it will be a quick rematch with 10th-seeded Iowa State.

“Everybody kind of has an opinion, rest versus momentum,” Beard said. “I’m just looking forward to playing, whatever time, whatever day.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: The Cyclones were NCAA Tournament regulars when coach Chris Beard took over at Texas Tech in 2016. Now they’re going to miss a second consecutive March Madness while the Red Raiders for a third straight NCAA trip. The past four Texas Tech wins over Iowa State have been by at least 20 points.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders shot a season-best 62%, while Edwards was 3 of 4 from beyond the arc to put him at 7 of 9 over the past two games. McClung was 7 of 12 from the field while Peavy and Santos-Silva each went 6 of 8.

STUDENT MANAGER-PLAYER

Texas Tech student manager Ty Lawson entered the game in the final minute, drawing a charging call against Iowa State’s Javan Johnson. Lawson, a former junior college player in Wyoming, joined Beard’s program with plans to become a coach.

“Talked to him a couple of years ago about trying to get him in the game senior night if that opportunity presented itself,” Beard said. “It’s not like we’re just putting guys out there. Ty was a good player in junior college and has done a great job in his role here.”

UP NEXT

Iowa State: The originally scheduled trip to Kansas State Jan. 13 was the first of four consecutive Iowa State games postponed because of COVID-19 issues. One of three Big 12 victories for the Wildcats was 74-65 at Iowa State in the conference opener for both teams in December.

Texas Tech: Both of the three-game winning streaks going into the Baylor games included victories over No. 15 Texas. Texas Tech scored just 18 points in the first half to fall behind by eight and lost by that margin (68-60) after briefly taking the lead in the second half.

Reserve Kai Jones’ 17 points lead No. 15 Texas past Cyclones

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AMES, Iowa — Texas coach Shaka Smart liked what he saw from Kai Jones against Iowa State, and he said he’ll need to see more of it if the Longhorns are going to be successful in the postseason.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points and lead four Texas players in double figures in the 15th-ranked Longhorns’ 81-67 win Tuesday night.

“I thought this was one of his best games, just with his activity and energy on both ends of the floor,” Smart said.

Jones made 4 of 7 shots from the field and hit a career-best 9 of 10 free throws. He also had eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

“He had some plays tonight where he really played with great maximum effort, and when he does that, he’s really, really special as a player,” Smart said. “I’m happy for him that he’s kind of coming to this realization of who he can be. He’s really just scratching the surface. We need this type of energy and multiple efforts from him as we go here in March.”

Texas (15-7, 9-6 Big 12) led for all but 22 seconds, beating the Cyclones for the eighth time in 10 meetings. Iowa State (2-19, 0-16) was led by Jalen Coleman-Lands, who scored 22 points.

Courtney Ramey added 14 points for the Longhorns, and Greg Brown and Matt Coleman III each had 12.

The Longhorns scored the first eight points and broke things open with a 17-0 run that put them up 28-13.

The Cyclones made just 4 of 15 attempts from 3-point range before the break.

Ramey’s 3-pointer early in the second half made it 51-37. The Cyclones pulled within eight points late, but Texas went 6 for 6 at the free-throw line in the final minute and scored eight of the last 10 points.

The teams combined for 26 turnovers in the first half, with Iowa State committing nine in the first 10 minutes. Texas turned it over 19 times for the game.

“Nineteen turnovers is way too many,” Smart said. “I told our guards they have to lead the way with taking care of the ball.”

BIG PICTURE

Texas: The Longhorns kept alive their slim hopes of being a No. 2 seed in next week’s Big 12 Tournament.

Iowa State: The Cyclones, who finish the regular season with two road games, have not gone winless in league play since finishing 0-10 in the Bix Six Conference in 1936-37.

FEBRES CONTRIBUTES

Texas’ Jase Febres played his best game since returning from major knee surgery. He scored a season-high nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from 3-points range and also had two rebounds and an assist in 21 minutes. Febres had been injured last March and was playing his eighth game.

“This has been the hardest thing hands-down I’ve had to go through,” Febres said of his comeback.

UP NEXT

Texas visits No. 16 Oklahoma on Thursday and ends the regular season at TCU on Saturday.

Iowa State visits No. 18 Texas Tech on Thursday and plays at Kansas State on Saturday.