Iowa State (17-7, 6-5) fell to the Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-9, 4-7) tonight in overtime, 85-82. Despite leading for most of the game, the Cyclones couldn't ever land the knockout blow, and a scrappy Red Raider team rode 39 bench points and a +10 foul disparity to eek out an upset in Lubbock over a ranked ISU team for the second straight year.
The difference in the final margin ended up being yet another lucky ass Buddy Hieldesque shot. With the game tied at 80 and 1:30 left in OT, Keenan Evans banked in a desperation three from the giant Texas shaped half-court logo as the shot clock ran out. (El Paso, specifically.)
While many disgruntled fans in the days ahead will point to the refs blowing a goaltending call shortly after the bankshot 3, (in which a Monte Morris layup was blocked after it had hit the backboard), it is impossible to determine what effect that had on the outcome when compared against the idiotic Intentional Foul committed by Nader at the end of regulation which allowed the Red Raiders to tie it up played into the loss. Or Niang's uncharacteristic miss on the front end of a 1 and 1 in overtime. Such is the complex nature of a linear existence.
Deonte Burton made the most of his start, racking up a team-high 20 points and 2 blocked shots, including this monster transition alley-oop:
Perfect alley-oop pass from Morris for the two-hand Burton dunk!! #Cyclones lead 67-58 with 8:48 left in the 2nd. https://t.co/ieHj3RLp7K— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) February 11, 2016
Other notables include Monte Morris eclipsing the 1,000 point barrier in his career, and Jordan Ashton somehow played 28 minutes in the loss. A razor thin bench once again hurt the Cyclones, as Texas Tech's bench outscored ours 39 to 8, and were outscored 10 to 4 after Nader left the game with his 5th foul.
With the loss, Iowa State drops two games back from the three-way tie atop of the Big 12, and Texas Tech will likely enter the tournament bubble in the next round of bracketology. Next up, the struggling Cyclones face the Texas Longhorns on Saturday.