Iowa State did that thing again.
It goes a little something like, "No, yes, no, yes, no, oh shit, fuck, liquor store, wait what happened, yes, no, yes, yes, oh yes, YES, NO, FUCK."
You know the one.
ESPN2 was late to switch the broadcast to Austin after West Virginia throttled top-ranked Kansas in Morgantown, but it was pretty easy to tell the contest took on a frenetic pace out of the gate. Texas and Iowa State combined to drain nine three-pointers in the first 9+ minutes of play, with four different Cyclones responsible for five of them. By the under-12 media timeout, ISU had a 25-22 lead, on pace for its third triple-digit contest of the season.
The Longhorns, who just three nights ago tallied 57 points in a road loss to TCU, refused to miss from anywhere—a theme that carried through, oh, basically until the end. They hit 18 field goals (nine from deep) on 11 assists en route to a 49-point first half. Texas guards were responsible 45 of those points, and Isaiah Taylor led all scorers with 14 at the break, 28 for the game.
But with the contest knotted at 31 at the under-8 timeout, things appeared to hit a lull until Iowa State took a 34-33 lead on a gorgeous Monte Morris-to-Jameel McKay pick and roll. Morris dished out five assists to go with five points and three rebounds in the first 20 minutes. By the end, he would finish with 17-7-5.
Perhaps the only thing keeping the Cyclones in contention for the majority of the first half was their ability to consistently get penetration and draw extra defenders. The Longhorns failed miserably numerous times to rotate on defense, leaving McKay underneath the basket for at least three easy buckets. All of McKay's 10 first half points were scored in the paint.
He would never make it to the free throw line.
Texas went on to tie things at 36 after a wild possession salvaged THREE TIMES by offensive rebounds. On ISU's subsequent possession, the Longhorns forced a quick steal into a 3-on-1 transition layup to take a 38-36 lead. They would go on to end the half on a 16-2 tear after a flurry of open three-pointers.
And this may surprise you, but it didn't end there.
Texas took its largest lead at 59-46 four minutes into the seconnd half after Eric Davis sunk the team's 11th three of the game. With 10 players seeing the floor in the first stanza alone, it became increasingly obvious how much quicker and fresher Shaka Smart's guys were, particularly moving the ball and coming off screens.
McKay wound up utterly neutralized in the second half despite Cameron Ridley being in street clothes, a once devastating blow (not that long ago) that appeared to be a complete non-factor in this game. McKay was responsible for a whopping two points and one solitary rebound in the final 20 minutes.
But a Niang and-one into the under-8 media timeout cut the Longhorns' lead to 75-69... and then that thing that sometimes happens... when Iowa State gets behind... it happened.
Morris grabbed a key offensive rebound the next trip down the floor and trimmed the lead four on a driving baseline layup.
Then Abdel Nader to two.
Then, after alternating buckets over the next few possessions, Nader went hard to the rack to tie the game up at 79.
Each team traded jabs down the stretch, and Niang was able to cap a key 6-0 Cyclones run, until Kendal Yancy took a VERY large third step for a go-ahead layup that, incredibly, went uncalled. After another Niang answer on the other end, Nader got away with a pretty clear hack as time expired—certainly a makeup call if there ever was one.
Unfortunately it took ISU three minutes to get on the board in the extra period, and despite a poor shooting half for Texas that left the door ajar for one last comeback, the Cyclones fell short. Niang, who finished the game with 27 points and seven rebounds, let a game-tying three sail as the clock hit zeroes.
Your line of the night belongs to Nader who pulled down 16 friggin' rebounds to go with his 10 points. Matt Thomas finished with 11, Burton got 14 off the bench, and Hallice Cooke was held scoreless for the seventh time this season.
Texas drained 13 three-pointers on 31 attempts by seven different players, Connor Lammert and Tevin Mack leading the way with three apiece. Mack and Davis each accumulated 14 points off the bench.
Iowa State now sits 12-4 on the year, 1-3 in conference play, and gets Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday. That one will tip off at 3:00 PM on ESPNU.
Now go to bed.