AUST IN, Texas (AP) Andrew Jones scored a career-high 23 points and No. 4 Texas beat Iowa State 78-72 Tuesday night to continue its torrid start to the season.
Texas (9-1, 3-0 Big 12) led by as many as 15 early in the second half and appeared to be sailing toward an easy victory over an Iowa State team that has yet to win in conference games. But the Cyclones (2-6, 0-4) continued to weaken and made things difficult for Texas in the end.
Jones’ layup on the baseline With 2:40 left gave Texas a 72-63 band. The Cyclones drew close to 75-70 when Javan Johnson converted a three-point play With 28 seconds left, but the Longhorns closed it out from the free throw line.
Matt Coleman I I I added 13 points, including a long jump With 40 seconds left that helped stop the rally for the Cyclones, and Jericho Sims had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Longhorns.
” We trust each other,” Jones said. ” We are confident that each player will make the correct play. I just go out to play free, play loose, and play confidently. ”
Johnson scored 21 points to lead the state of Iowa.
Texas started the season at No. 19 and quickly catapulted to his highest ranking in a decade, With his biggest win ever: a 25-point thrashing over Kansas. Texas is 3-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.
The Longhorns got off to a slow start heading home to an empty arena. Texas allowed no fans as the Austin area battles a wave of COV ID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
” Really happy to win tonight in a game that could easily have been a trap for us coming from Kansas,” said Texas coach Shaka Smart. ” It was really a strange feeling Without fans.”
Iowa State jumped to an early lead behind forward Solomon Young before the Longhorns raced into halftime With a final fury that saw Jones blast their way for layouts and Sims and Kai Jones dominated the Cyclones on the boards.
Texas turned its offense inside out in the second half With three quick 3s that took the lead to 15. Iowa State cut it below 10 before freshman Greg Brown hit a triple from the left wing, and then he followed. With a left-handed layup that stretched and put the Longhorns up 57-43.
Iowa State now has four losses to opponents who were ranked in the Top 10 when they met.
” We are taking gradual steps, ” said Cyclones guard Jalen Coleman-Lands. ” There is little room for error when you play against the best teams in the nation.”
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Iowa State: Young finished With 13 points and eight rebounds, and gave the Cyclones what he could in their battles below the basket. But it was a free offense and a second-half shot that brought the Cyclones closer. Finding that combination to counter Texas’ muscle under the basket earlier could have led to a huge road win.
Texas: The Longhorns are hoping to get a late revival from Sims, who has spent much of his career grappling With questions about why he hasn’t produced more, but now appears poised to be a force in his final season. His double-double against Kansas was a major factor in that victory. Against Iowa State, Texas needed his muscular moves for early dunks and the rush for rebounds to equalize Young under the basket. His mate play and three points propelled Texas to its first lead midway through the first half.
” I feel like everything is opening up now,” Sims said.
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Brown is the baby in the Texas senior lineup, but he continues to find a way to make his mark With big shots, blocks and dunks. It also showed the ability to shake off the embarrassment of having an early dunk attempt blocked. Brown came out and did his damage from long range With three 3s.
UNT IL NEXT T IME
The state of Iowa hosts No. 18 Texas Tech on Saturday.
Texas plays No. 14 in West Virginia on Saturday.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.