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Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Texas Tech

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Iowa State is looking to stop a 2 game skid.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, Iowa State was a sexy pick to unseat Kansas from the Big 12 throne. Now, they’re looking for answers after two straight losses that, frankly, should not have happened. The Cyclones have made their way down the Texas Tech and will look to get back on track against one of the nation’s best teams.

Last Time Out

Barry Brown’s layup in the closing seconds capped off a late rally by Kansas State to stun the then 20th ranked Cyclones 58-57 in Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones came in to the game averaging over 80 points per game, but were a bit uncomfortable with the defensive prowess of Kansas State.

Nick Weiler-Babb led the way with just 11 points, making 3 of 7 three-point attempts. George Conditt had 9 points on 4-4 shooting with 2 blocks in just 15 minutes. Barry Brown led the way for Kansas State with 23 points, including 18 of the 23 the Wildcats scored in the 2nd half. Iowa State would fall to 2-2 in Big 12 play after starting 2-0.

About Texas Tech

The 8th ranked Red Raiders won their 5th straight game and improved to 15-1 (4-0 Big 12) on the season after defeating the Texas, 68-62 on Saturday. Texas Tech was once again great defensively, and pulled away late after going on a 13-3 run in the second half. Texas Tech held Texas to 40% shooting from the field and won the turnover battle by forcing 14 Longhorn turnovers on the afternoon. Leading the way for the Red Raiders was Matt Mooney who had 22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

On the season, Texas Tech is averaging 72 points per game on 47.8% shooting from the field, and 6.0 three-pointers per game on 34.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Defensively, Texas Tech is holding their opponents to an average of 54.0 points per game on 33.8% shooting from the field. The Red Raiders have a rebound margin of 3.8 and a turnover margin of 3.8. In summary, this will be the second game in a row Iowa State will have to compete against a team that will break you down defensively.

Opponent Player To Watch

Jarrett Culver. The sophomore guard has been a stud for Texas Tech this season. Culver averages just under 19 points a game while dishing out 4 assists as well. Culver has only been held under 10 points once this season and I don’t really envision Iowa State doing that to him either. Culver will have to be a key to the game for Steve Prohm but Matt Mooney the other guard for Texas Tech has shown he can score as well leading the way for Texas Tech against Texas last weekend.

What Will Happen

Iowa State is on the struggle bus right now. They are on a two game skid but it is how they have lost is what makes it hard to take. Now they go on the road against a very good defensive team in Texas Tech. I do not have a good feeling about this one at all. The Cyclones have shown they can score but not yet against great defensive teams, example last weekend against Kansas State. Unless something has magically been changed on the team I don’t like Iowa State to go on the road. I think the Cyclones manage to keep it close, but the Red Raider defense prevails in the end.

Pick: Texas Tech- 72 Iowa State- 66

Pick Three

1- Iowa State loses the turnover battle

2- Lindell Wigginton’s struggles continue

3- Texas Tech holds Iowa State to under 25 in the first half

Game Notes

The Matchup: Iowa State (12-4, 2-2 Big 12) vs. No. 8 Texas Tech (15-1, 4-0 Big 12)

Where: Lubbock, Texas - United Supermarkets Arena (15,098)

When: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 8 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)

TV: ESPNU Talent: Clay Matvick (PxP), Tim Welsh (Analyst)

Webcast: WatchESPN

Sirius/XM/Internet: 81*/383/974 (internet) *TTU Broadcast

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com