In a game in which ESPN commentator Stephen Howard mentioned a Texas player getting to the hoop “unmolested,” seconds later talked about the “Iowa Cyclones,” and then mentions Illinois State going cold, it would be easy to assume the Iowa State Cyclones were blown out by the Texas Longhorns late Saturday night. Fortunately, seniors Monte Morris and Deonte Burton made sure that wouldn’t be happening on their homecourt as the Cyclones stomped Texas, 79-70.
Iowa State started and finished hot in the first half. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cyclone defense had forced 12 turnovers from the young Texas squad, but when they were able to put up a shot, the Longhorns were able to hit 50% from the field, much higher than the 37% Iowa State typically gives up to their opposition.
On the offensive side of the ball, ISU drilled four threes and shot 43% from the field. At one point in the half, all eight Cyclone players had at least 2 points, and none more than 5 points. Iowa State also had 5 offensive boards leading to prime second chance opportunities.
The triple-double watch was on for Monte Morris, who had 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. The last assist for Morris went to Deonte Burton, who got hot to end the half and drilled a three at the buzzer to give the Cyclones a 40-31 lead at the break.
Morris was able to get past the point barrier early in the second half after hitting a three from Deonte Burton as the Cyclones rushed out to a 49-35 lead. But ISU was unable to step on the Longhorns’ throats, as Texas guards Tevin Mack and Kerwin Roach Jr. helped keep their team in it, going on an 8-0 run to make it a 49-43 game before Morris was able to score an easy layup off a fast break.
It was after a cold streak for both teams that Burton began to grab the game by the balls and scored 7 straight points for the Cyclones, capping it off with a monstrous dunk. Morris drilled a three a couple seconds later and heading into the under 8 timeout, Iowa State held a 62-51 lead.
But Texas and Roach Jr. would not go away. A quick 7-0 run by the Longhorns made it a 62-58 game with 5:50 remaining but Naz Mitrou-Long slowed Texas down, drilling a three and becoming just the third Cyclone to score after Burton and Morris scored the first 22 points for Iowa State to start the half. Morris followed it up the next possession with a three to make it a 68-60 game before Texas freshman Andrew Jones hit a three to quiet the Hilton crowd.
As the game entered the final two minutes, Burton received an assist from Matt Thomas to an easy layup and paid him back the next possession, hitting Thomas for the wide open corner three to give Iowa State a 73-65 lead with 1:13 left.
The crowd reached its loudest point in the night seconds later, as Donovan Jackson hit back to back free throws after the Cyclones started out 1-8 in the game. Morris hit two more later to give Iowa State their 79th and final point of the night and the Cyclones ended the game with a 79-70 victory.
Burton and Morris led the way for Iowa State with 27 and 22 points, respectively, while Morris was also able to tack on 10 boards and 6 assists.
As a team, ISU tallied 19 assists and finished -6 in rebounds. The Cyclones forced 19 Texas turnovers with the help of 4 steals from Matt Thomas. Iowa State shot 41% while the only real black mark on the game being the shot defense from Iowa State, as they allowed the Longhorns to shoot 52% from the field.
The Cyclones look to build off this victory as they head to Stillwater to take on Jawun Evans and the Oklahoma State Cowboys next Wednesday at 8:00 on ESPNU.