Toward the end of Wednesday’s tilt against Texas Tech, it looked as if another hard-fought effort would result in yet another late-game collapse.
Not this time.
The Cyclones led for most of the game, and managed to hold off a furious Red Raiders rally late to beat No. 8 Texas Tech 68-64 in Lubbock on Wednesday. The win snaps Iowa State’s two-game losing streak, all while making a statement that the Cyclones are not out of the Big 12 race just yet.
In this game, the Cyclones made just enough of their late-game free throws to extend their lead and seal the victory. Marial Shayok led the Cyclones with 20 points, including two late free throws to ice the game, and Iowa State did just enough to beat one of the nation’s premier defenses.
All this without Cam Lard playing a single minute.
The Cyclones did not shoot particularly well from beyond the arc, going just 5-of-22, but their gritty defensive effort and 44.6 field goal percentage was enough to keep them ahead most of the night. Michael Jacobson contributed a double-double of his own (14 points, 10 rebounds) to round out the scoring.
Heading into the final media timeout, Iowa State held onto a five-point lead, 61-56, which truly highlights how the game was played. Neither team was able to create much separation all night.
Midway through the second half, the teams continued to trade jabs, and Tech pulled within three points on a 3-pointer by Kyler Edwards. Lindell Wigginton immediately responded with a three of his own, and the Cyclones’ lead was back to six.
Iowa State led by as many as 10 a few times early in the second half, but the Red Raiders continued to hang around. The Cyclones led by six at the 12-minute break, with Texas Tech starting to pick up some momentum after a full-court press steal turned into a three-point basket.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair - no team truly broke out until the end, when the Cyclones took a 29-25 deficit and finished the half on a 16-4 run to enter the break with a 41-33 lead.