Iowa St.-Texas Preview
The road hasn’t been kind to Iowa State, but coach Fred Hoiberg’s group found a way in a tough environment last time out.
A visit to Texas presents another difficult challenge.
The No. 14 Cyclones go for their second win in 13 all-time visits to Austin on Saturday in a Big 12 matchup.
While Iowa State (19-6, 9-4) has held opponents to an average of 64.6 points in winning each of its 14 home games, it’s surrendered 78.1 per game as the visiting team. The Cyclones had lost four in a row on the road before pulling out a 70-65 win at No. 22 Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
Jameel McKay recorded his first double-double with 17 points and a season-high 14 boards as Iowa State outrebounded the Cowboys 44-28, including 18-4 on the offensive glass. The Cyclones scored the final nine points to climb within one game of conference-leading Kansas with five to go.
"You get the monkey off your back a little bit," Hoiberg said. "We’ve (have) three really good road wins: Iowa, West Virginia and now Oklahoma State. Hopefully it gives us a little confidence going into this tough schedule. … We obviously have a big one on Saturday."
Iowa State led by 21 with 11:36 to go in this season’s first meeting against then-No. 19 Texas before sweating out an 89-86 win Jan. 26. Georges Niang had 19 points and Bryce Dejean-Jones added 18 as the Cyclones outscored the Longhorns 25-10 at the foul line.
Iowa State is seeking a third consecutive victory in the series for the first time since 1983-87. The Cyclones, however, have been outscored by an average of 10.0 points during a six-game skid at Texas since winning 92-80 in overtime Feb. 5, 2005.
The Longhorns (17-9, 6-7) sit just outside the Top 25 after receiving 70 votes in the latest AP poll, but they didn’t help their cause with Tuesday’s 71-69 loss at No. 17 Oklahoma. Freshman Myles Turner had 17 points off the bench and sophomore Kendal Yancy matched a career high with 14 as Texas committed 13 turnovers to the Sooners’ five.
The Longhorns’ point total was their highest over a six-game stretch, during which they’ve averaged 62.5.
"Offensively, we have to make plays," coach Rick Barnes said. "I just know that we’ve got a chance to be a really good team but we still have to get everybody playing to the ability that we know they can. … We were close, but close doesn’t get it done."
Texas has split six conference home games, with wins over then-No. 16 West Virginia, TCU and last-place Texas Tech coming by an average of 21.6 points. The Longhorns’ only other victory in eight matchups against ranked teams came 55-54 at then-No. 24 Connecticut back on Nov. 30.
Texas’ Isaiah Taylor has averaged 5.7 points – down from his team-leading mark of 12.8 – while shooting 5 of 22 over a three-game stretch. Senior Jonathan Holmes has been limited to five points on 3-of-14 shooting in each of his two games since returning from a concussion.
With a team-high 14.5 points per game, Niang is one of six players averaging double figures for Iowa State. Though Niang has averaged 8.5 over the last four games, he’s scored 19.0 on 53.7 percent shooting in the last three against Texas.